Global Health Asia-Pacific March 2022 March 2022 - Page 63

Endometriosis

Understanding Endometriosis

and Its Effects on Fertility

“ Endometriosis is one of the more common causes of infertility . Period pain is a significant symptom of this disease . But because many women experience painful menstruation , there is a widespread belief that menstrual pain is ‘ normal ’. This poses a barrier for the prompt diagnosis of this disease .”
- Dr Navdeep Singh Pannu
In recent years , the infertility rate has been rising globally due to the prevalence of various health issues in women . According to WHO , Endometriosis affects roughly 10 percent ( 190 million ) of women in the reproductive age category .
What is Endometriosis ?
Endometriosis occurs when the uterine tissue ( endometrium ) grows outside of the uterus , usually around the pelvic area . During menstruation , this tissue reacts to hormones ; it grows and bleeds the same way the uterine tissue does . However , since the tissue is outside the uterus , it can ’ t shed and exit through the vagina . Instead , the tissue settles in other places and starts new growths and inflammation , which leads to the accumulation of scar tissue causing severe pain .
Treating Endometriosis
Painful periods , chronic pelvic pain , painful intercourse , and ovarian cysts – these are just some of the symptoms that women with Endometriosis live with . Endometriosis is a progressive disease and not 100 percent treatable . There is no magic pill that can be given to a patient to make Endometriosis disappear .
However , Endometriosis can be managed . Although it is a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on a person ’ s life , there are treatments that can help .
In general , treatment for endometriosis includes :
1 . Pain medication
• NSAIDs ( Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs )
2 . Hormone therapy
• Oral contraceptives .
• Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist .
• Progestin – Visanne ( dienogest ).
• Androgen Receptor Agonist , Danazol .
3 . Surgical techniques
• Laparoscopy .
• Laparotomy .
• Hysterectomy .
Endometriosis and Fertility
About 30 – 50 percent of women with Endometriosis may face difficulties in conceiving . Some patients find out about their condition when they have trouble getting pregnant .
Endometriosis affects fertility due to :
Image credit : bloominuterus . com
• Tissue overgrowth around ovaries that prevents eggs from entering the fallopian tubes ;
• Endometriosis forming outside the fallopian tubes causing adhesions ;
• Endometriotic cysts ( or chocolate cysts ) producing chemicals and other substances that are strongly linked to a lower density of ovarian follicles from which mature eggs are released .
Knowledge is Key , Be Empowered
Living with Endometriosis is tough , especially for a woman in her reproductive age . If you have been diagnosed with Endometriosis , my advice is to get as much information as you can before deciding on your next course of action . Knowledge is key and having the right information about the disease will empower you to take a step in the right direction .
In addressing infertility , the sooner you have them answered , the better .
To make an appointment to consult with Dr Navdeep , please call :
+ 603-8069 9333 / + 6018 2111 088 ( TMC Fertility & Women ’ s Specialist Centre , Puchong )
or email ask @ drnavdeepfertility . com