Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that significantly affects a woman’s well-being and quality of life. It affects more than 170 million women of childbearing age worldwide, but often goes unnoticed or is not fully understood.
In Spain, two million women suffer from endometriosis, a quarter of them in its most severe form. It affects one in ten women between the ages of 15 and 50, although the number could be higher.
Unfortunately, endometriosis is not always diagnosed in time. On average, it takes eight to ten years for a woman with endometriosis to be properly diagnosed. Among other things, menstrual pain is socially accepted, and the symptoms of endometriosis are considered ‘normal’.
The delay in diagnosis increases physical and psychological suffering. In addition, without proper treatment, the disease can progress to more aggressive forms.
Even more disturbing, recent studies have shown that the prevalence of endometriosis is very high in adolescents with pelvic pain.
H2: What causes endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a chronic, non-cancerous, inflammatory disease that occurs when tissue that resembles the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, grows outside the uterus.
The causes of endometriosis are unknown. There may be a genetic predisposition in combination with environmental factors, toxic factors such as heavy metals that are more common in women with endometriosis, hormonal factors, and immune changes.
Endometriosis implants (tissue that grows outside the uterus) are known to occur in various parts of the body and can cause very debilitating symptoms. They are usually found in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity), the last part of the large intestine (sigmoid colon), bowel or bladder.
Therefore, the diagnosis of endometriosis and treatment must be individualized and adapted to each woman’s circumstances.
H3 Types of endometriosis – falta incluir información aquí, siguiendo el schema de SEO
In adenomyosis, the endometrial tissue is in the muscle of the uterus, while in endometriosis, the endometrium is found almost everywhere in the body.
Both adenomyosis and endometriosis are conditions that cause severe pain, hinder, or prevent pregnancy, and often prevent women from living a normal life.
The relationship between adenomyosis and endometriosis continues to be debated in the medical community. Gynecologists consider adenomyosis to be a form of endometriosis.
H2 What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
The most common symptoms of endometriosis are:
- Severe pain a week or two before and during menstruation.
- Very heavy bleeding during your period.
- Blood loss between periods.
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse.
- Pain when urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Light bleeding during urination or bowel movements.
- Fatigue affecting the mood.
- Difficulty or inability to get pregnant.
The symptoms of endometriosis are not equally severe and do not affect all women in the same way. One question many women ask, is endometriosis dangerous? Endometriosis is not cancer, and it is not life-threatening, although the symptoms of endometriosis are very uncomfortable and may greatly affect a woman’s quality of life.
H3 Why does endometriosis cause chronic pain and infertility?
The endometrium refers to the lining of the uterus, which undergoes monthly changes in response to ovarian hormones in preparation for potential pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, the uterus sheds the unfertilized egg and the excess endometrial tissue through menstruation.
The endometrium implanted itself outside its usual place, also prepares for a possible pregnancy From this unusual place, it responds monthly to hormones from the ovary, but because it is out of place, menstruation remains in the body.
This menstrual residue, a sticky fluid, forms adhesions that can cause organs like the intestines or ovaries to stick together, causing chronic pain and altering fertility.
H2: How is endometriosis diagnosed?
When a woman tells us she is suffering from severe pain and a disabling menstrual period, we may suspect endometriosis. So, we get the best diagnosis by asking the right questions, paying attention to the personal description of the symptoms, and performing the appropriate examination.
After an initial consultation, we perform the gynecological examination and gynecological ecography, a simple, quick, and painless test based on the use of ultrasound. It is usually performed in the office via transvaginal route, and we have an immediate result.
H2: Treatments for endometriosis: what is the best treatment for endometriosis?
Treatments for endometriosis vary for each woman and throughout life, and always focus on relieving the symptoms of the disease, both chronic pain and associated infertility.
It is essential that the approach is multidisciplinary. Therefore, at Women’s, a multidisciplinary team of experts always takes care of you, we follow your evolution with a personalized treatment and advise and inform you about the most appropriate options for your situation.
H3 Medical treatment
If you are being treated for endometriosis for the first time and the pain is mild or you are trying to get pregnant, we start medical treatment with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs or hormonal preparations. The latter stimulate a hormonal state like that of pregnancy or menopause.
H3 Surgical treatment
Although surgical treatment is best suited to treat severe endometriosis, our priority is to address the disease holistically. We try to relieve or eliminate symptoms while being as non-invasive as possible. We want to preserve the ovarian function and avoid radical surgery.
Surgery is reserved for the following cases:
- When symptoms do not respond to medical treatment.
- In infertile women who want to become pregnant when surgery can help them become pregnant.
- When the ureter or other organs are severely affected.
- When the diagnosis of malignant disease cannot be ruled out with complete certainty.
At Women’s, endometriosis surgery is performed only by multidisciplinary teams with the expertise and experience to ensure the utmost safety.
H3 Surgery for ovarian endometriosis
At Women’s, we use advanced surgical technologies for ovarian endometriosis surgery.
Plasmajet technology consists of the use of plasma-based energy, a source of energy that makes it possible to destroy the endometriosis without damaging the patient’s ovarian reserve, thus preserving her fertility.
It is a very safe, less aggressive, and more precise advanced technology. It minimizes thermal spread, reduces the risk of complications, preserves the function of the treated organs, and reduces recurrence of the disease.
H3 Complementary treatments
Endometriosis causes chronic inflammation, which in turn, causes pain because the body fights back against the substance that the endometrium secretes when it is out of place.
This inflammation can be relieved with medication. We at Women’s, recommend supplementing treatment with an anti-inflammatory diet, moderate exercise, and relaxation techniques such as mindfulness or yoga.
Can endometriosis be cured?
H3 Fertility treatments
About 50% of women with endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant and need medical help to conceive.
Intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization are two assisted reproduction techniques we can use to help you achieve your desired pregnancy:
- In intrauterine insemination, selected sperm are introduced into the uterus when the ovary is about to release one or more eggs to allow pregnancy.
- In in vitro fertilization (IVF), eggs are retrieved, combined with sperm in the laboratory, and a few days later the selected embryo is transferred to the mother’s uterus to achieve implantation and pregnancy.
Ask for an appointment to analyze the most suitable technique for you. At Women’s, we will guide you throughout the process.
H3 Egg freezing
Egg cryopreservation is a technique in which several unfertilized eggs are retrieved and frozen to preserve a woman’s fertility.
With this technique, we have high quality eggs available in case we have trouble retrieving eggs during an in vitro fertilization cycle, or if you are having difficulty getting pregnant and need to undergo an in vitro fertilization cycle.
Prevention and follow-up during pregnancy
Recent research confirms that endometriosis may be associated with high blood pressure and severe preeclampsia, which can lead to adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes.
Therefore, if you are pregnant and have endometriosis, we at Women’s perform close clinical follow-up, which allows us to avoid serious complications during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum.
Psychological impact of endometriosis
It takes an average of 8 to 10 years for a woman with endometriosis to be correctly diagnosed. This is often due to societal ignorance of the disease and normalization of menstrual pain.
The pain, delayed diagnosis, and inability to obtain appropriate treatment exacerbate the disease and contribute to the stress and suffering experienced by women with endometriosis.
In these circumstances, the understanding and emotional support of the family and social environment, as well as psychological help from professionals who can accompany you throughout the process, is of great importance.
Multidisciplinary endometriosis treatment
The treatment of endometriosis varies for each woman and throughout her life.
In many cases, multidisciplinary treatment is essential to meet all of the patient’s needs.
At Women’s, a team of experts from different fields, gynecologists, surgeons, nutritionists, physical therapists, pain management experts and psychologists, will take care of you. We follow your evolution with a personalized treatment, accompanying you and informing you about the best treatment options.
Make an appointment to speak with one of our gynecologists
H2 Endometriosis treatment in Barcelona
Many women suffer from severe menstrual pain since childhood, and they live with it because it is socially considered that pain related to menstruation is normal and they have to put up with it. Some do not go to the doctor and others do consult their gynecologist but too often do not get a proper diagnosis.
At Women’s, we treat women from all over Spain and other countries who suffer from endometriosis. If you have any of the above symptoms and especially if you have very painful periods, remember that period pain is NOT normal. Make an appointment and make sure you get the treatment you deserve and the right diagnosis.
We will perform the appropriate tests to make an accurate diagnosis and initiate the best treatment for you as soon as possible, considering your personal circumstances.