Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus start growing outside your uterus. A painful condition that may cause worries to married couples who plan to have children. The growths of endometriosis are benign, which means it is not cancerous, but they can still cause many problems.
Dr Roland Chieng, Director and Gynaecologist at Virtus Fertility Centre is glad to share with us what is Endometriosis and how will it will affect a woman’s body and health.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition characterised by the finding of endometrial (cells from the uterine cavity) tissues outside the uterine cavity. Frequently these are found on the ovary or behind the uterus. However, deposits has been found in many other places such as the intestines, scars and even the lungs.
What is the cause of it and who is prone of getting it?
The cause of endometriosis is still unknown. It has been suggested to be due to defective immunity of the body, allowing these tissues at abnormal sites to persist and responding to the body hormones. Endometriosis can occur in all women at the reproductive age (woman who has menstrual periods).
What are the symptoms of Endometriosis and how do I know if I have it?
Commonly, patients with Endometriosis might have severe painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual period (Dysmenorrhea). In addition, they could experience sharp pain before and during sexual intercourse (Dyspareunia). However, there are also a percentage of people who does not show any of the above symptoms.
Does Endometriosis cause infertility?
Endometriosis is frequently associated with infertility. The causal link has been shown in the laboratory. However, endometriosis does not equate to infertility. There are many women who are fertile and incidentally found to have Endometriosis.
How is Endometriosis treated?
This will depend on whether there is a wish for conception. Medical treatment concentrates on rendering the tissues less active using various medications to promote pseudo menopause or pseudo pregnant states. Therefore this is not appropriate in patient who wishes conception. Surgical removal of endometriosis deposits will be necessary to enhance fertility. Otherwise, IVF has been used increasingly as the first line treatment for patient with Endometriosis associated infertility.
By Dr Roland Chieng
Certified Specialist In Obstetrics And Gynaecology
Roland Chieng Fertility and Women Care
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road #10-33 Sin 329563
Tel: +65 6694 1833 | Fax: +65 6694 1823