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Endometriosis is a very painful condition with varying symptoms for each patient. Some women don’t experience any symptoms and only learn that they have the condition when they try to get pregnant. For other women, they are very aware of heavy painful periods that seriously impact their everyday life.
In theory, each month the lining of the womb thickens in anticipation of a fertilised egg. However, for Endometriosis sufferers, these endometrial cells not only line the womb, but go rogue and attach themselves to the ovaries, outside the womb and even in severe cases other organs in the body.
When Endometriosis spreads to the ovaries this can affect egg health and create a blockage between the fallopian tube and the ovary. The cause of Endometriosis is unknown, however there are treatments to help manage the symptoms and most importantly to help you conceive.
Endometriosis runs in families and can affect women who started their periods before the age of 11, have short cycles of under 27 days and who have heavy periods that last more than 7 days. 75% of sufferers report pelvic pain during their period. Around 50% of sufferers will also have trouble conceiving naturally.
In consultation with your Fertility Specialist here at Panama Fertility we will decide with you the best course of treatment. Firstly, it is important to manage the pain associated with Endometriosis as we understand that this can impact your everyday life. Over time, this can affect your mood and general well-being.
Many women report feeling anxious and depressed as a result of the condition. For some women an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen can help with pain relief. In more severe cases stronger painkillers like opioids may be prescribed. We may also look at hormone therapy, such as birth control or GnRH agonist to stop the growth of endometrial tissue.
We may also need to perform a laparoscopy. For this procedure your Fertility Specialist would make a small incision to insert a camera. This shows the surgeon the patches of Endometriosis and decide whether to remove those patches. It is also possible to cut pelvic nerves to help with pain management.
Once you have an Endometriosis diagnosis, your Fertility Specialist will advise whether your condition is mild, moderate or severe. Depending on the severity we will then discuss which assisted reproduction technique is most likely to help you conceive. In mild cases this may be ovulation stimulation with IUI or a full IVF cycle might be the best option. Endometriosis can also worsen as time goes on, so it is important to seek help to conceive as soon as the problem is realized.
If you suspect you may have Endometriosis or have been diagnosed then speak to our experienced team for advice and support. We are here for you.