Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue resembling the uterine lining has moved outside the uterus and may be located on the peritoneum, on the bladder, on the intestine and as cysts in the ovaries.
The lining of the uterus is affected by hormones in the same way as the lining of the uterus. Therefore, the areas where the endometriosis is will also come to bleed during the woman's menstruation. Many women experience pain during menstruation and over time the pain can become more chronic and independent of menstruation.
Endometriosis is a highly studied disease, and it is estimated that approximately one in ten women of childbearing age has endometriosis. The disorder is not seen in children and in women who have been menopausal,
Symptoms and the effect of endometriosis on female fertility
One of the most well-known symptoms of endometriosis is pain reminiscent of menstrual cramps. There may also be pain during sex and during bowel movements and urination, just as there may be muscle pain in the abdomen because the pain can cause the woman to tense the muscles.
30-40% of women with endometriosis experience problems getting pregnant. There can be several reasons for this, but one of the typical reasons is closed fallopian tubes due to endometriosis.
What happens at the doctor?
If you have the above symptoms for a long period of time, you should see your doctor for treatment.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and do a gynecological examination and possibly some blood tests. After this, you may also have an X-ray examination or ultrasound done to see if there is a suspicion of endometriosis. However, the only sure way to confirm that it is endometriosis is by binocular examination. This will take place under general anesthesia through the navel, where the doctor or gynecologist will get an overview of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, and peritoneum. Tissue samples can be taken here, which can confirm that it is endometriosis.
What treatment options are there?
The goal of treating endometriosis will be to reduce the pain and prevent or treat infertility. It will often take place in collaboration between a doctor and a gynecologist. In relation to the pain, you will start with painkillers of the type NSAID (here Ibuprofen are the only ones that can be bought without a prescription)
Endometriosis can be treated either medically or surgically. An operation will be able to remove the endometriosis, and it will take place as binocular surgery, where the tissue is removed with a burner, laser or ultrasound. If the operation is successful, it will also increase the chance of pregnancy. Surgical treatment can also be to loosen a closure of the fallopian tubes, which can positively affect the chances of pregnancy.
Despite the above possibilities, in some cases artificial insemination may still be relevant, such as test tube treatment. Read more about which fertility treatment you are entitled to here: Which kind of assistance can I get if I don't get pregnant? – Gravidtid
Source: Sundhed.dk, Netdoktor.dk, Rigshospitalet