by Dr I. Douliotis
Dear friends from all over the world,
March is the month of awareness for Endometriosis on a global scale. It is an opportunity for women across the globe to speak openly about this “life-altering” condition. We at Serum feel that we should also celebrate the braveness and strength of all women suffering from Endometriosis, often in silence.
Karl von Rokitansky first discovered Endometriosis in 1860. However, it was documented in medical texts more than 4,000 years by Hippocrates. The Hippocratic text “Corpus” describes symptoms similar to Endometriosis, including uterine pain, adhesions and infertility.
Endometriosis is a very common disease (1:10 women in the general population) that often goes undiagnosed. In the UK, there is an average of 7.5 years between a woman first seeing a doctor about their symptoms and receiving a firm diagnosis.
The term Endometriosis describes the condition in which the endometrium (the cell layer that usually covers the inside of the uterus) grows outside the uterus. Most of the time, this happens in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or tissues around the uterus and ovaries, without excluding other parts of the body.
The main symptoms of Endometriosis are pelvic pain, painful periods and various degree’s of infertility, while about 25% of women have no symptoms. Other symptoms include diarrhoea or constipation, chronic fatigue, nausea and vomiting, headaches, low-grade fever, severe and/or irregular periods and hypoglycaemia.
Usually, the diagnosis is made by taking a detailed medical history combined with a physical examination and specific ultrasound findings that lead the physician to suspect Endometriosis. The diagnosis itself cannot be confirmed by tests alone, and the only way to confirm or exclude Endometriosis is by laparoscopy.
While there is no permanent cure for Endometriosis, there are ways to treat it. Pharmaceutical and surgical procedures produce approximately equivalent benefits for pain relief. Surgery, however, is more effective for infertility than drug intervention alone.
At IVF Serum, we have extensive experience at treating and diagnosing Endometriosis early. We have designed specific tests and treatments for endometriosis patients in order to optimise both their response to stimulation as well as improve egg quality and the final outcome. Often medical and surgical treatments have to be combined in order to achieve optimal outcomes.
In these unprecedented times, we wish everybody good health and strength to brave this storm. We are all together in this, and we will make it. For now, please stay at home and be safe!