What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the endometrium (which is the inner layer of the womb) grows outside the uterus. The areas where this condition can be found are usually the tubes, the ovaries, the bladder, the bowel or even the diaphragm. Endometriosis can practically grow everywhere inside the abdomen. Endometriosis can cause intense pain, heavy bleeding, painful sex and infertility.
Endometriosis is more frequent than people believe. It is well known that 1 out of 10 women of reproductive age suffer from endometriosis. It is very important to say here that endometriosis is the second most frequent gynaecologic condition. Also out of 10 women that are having difficulty in getting pregnant, 5 of them will have some form of endometriosis.
Despite that this condition is so frequent, the fact that most of the times is not diagnosed is very upsetting. According to recent literature diagnosis of endometriosis can delay up to 8 years from the onset of symptoms even in countries like UK. This is considered unacceptable since endometriosis affects more than 150 million women worldwide.
Nowadays it is more and more apparent that endometriosis has turned into a social problem. Endometriosis extends not only in women’s health but also in their personal life, professional advancement and sexual activity.
What happens in endometriosis?
During the menstruation the inner layer of the womb which is called endometrium, sheds and is expelled through the vagina out of the body. In women suffering from endometriosis, lesions that are inside the abdomen in various locations release blood which causes pain, inflammation, fibrosis and adhesions.
Who can get endometriosis?
The shortest answer is every woman. Endometriosis is believed to be the second most common condition in gynaecology.
What causes the appearance of Endometriosis?
Recent research shows that endometriosis is a multifactorial disease. It is believed that genetic and epigenetic factors contribute towards this direction. That means that there are specific genes (genetic factors) which are turned on and off with the presence of specific environmental factors (epigenetic factors).