Endometriosis Affects 1,5 Million Women, But Most Are Not Aware

It affects a million women but most of them are not aware of it
It affects a million women but most of them are not aware of it

📩 01/03/2021 14:14

Since most women in our country consider the painful menstrual period to be "normal", a very important health problem is progressing insidiously. This dangerous disease, whose symptoms and severity causes different problems depending on the region where the tumor is located, and which is one of the biggest obstacles to becoming a mother, is seen in one out of every 10 women in our country. The diagnosis of endometriosis, which is popularly known as 'chocolate cyst' and which shows common symptoms with other diseases, can sometimes take up to 10 years! Here, the attention of the society is drawn to endometriosis every March in order to raise awareness about this dangerous disease all over the world. Emphasizing that the timely recognition of the disease is also of great importance in terms of treatment. Acıbadem University Medical Faculty Gynecology and Obstetrics Department Head and Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Gynecology and Obstetrics, Gynecological Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Mete Güngör,  “Endometriosis can cause permanent damage to organs in the abdominal region. It is also one of the main causes of infertility. It occurs in 15 to 55 percent of women who consult a doctor for infertility. There are also studies showing that endometriosis increases ovarian cancer. Therefore, in a possible complaint, a physician should be consulted ”. Prof. Dr. Mete Güngör made important warnings and suggestions about endometriosis.

Endometriosis, which is seen in one out of every 10 women of reproductive age in our country, is defined as the endometrial tissue, which should be in the inner layer of the uterus, to settle in other organs other than the uterus and cause disease in the area where it is located. Endometriosis, which is one of the biggest obstacles to motherhood and manifests itself with severe menstrual pain; It can occur on the peritoneum, in the tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus, in the bladder and urethra, on the intestines or ovaries, and rarely in areas such as the lung, eye, belly and diaphragm. Noting that endometriosis is affected by menstrual hormones Acıbadem University Medical Faculty Gynecology and Obstetrics Department Head and Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Gynecology and Obstetrics, Gynecological Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Mete Güngör,  “Therefore, they cause cyclical growth and bleeding. These bleedings cause tissue reactions, inflammations, adhesions and cysts where they are found. In the long run, even organs may stick together, ”he says.

If the menstrual period exceeds 7 days!

The causes of this disease, which is especially seen in women between the ages of 15-49 and affects 1,5 million women in our country, are not fully known. Stating that the risk of the disease increases 6 times in women with endometriosis in their family, Prof. Dr. Mete Güngör says the following about other risk causes:

“The first menstrual bleeding of women before the age of 11, the menstrual cycle lasting less than 27 days, menstrual bleeding that exceeds 7 days, never pregnant or giving birth, exposure to high levels of estrogen, anomalies that disrupt menstrual blood flow, and other factors that increase the risk of endometriosis. However, it is accepted that a fatty diet, excess meat and caffeine consumption are also risk factors. On the other hand, pregnancy, regular exercise and late menstruation stand out as factors that reduce the risk. "

You think bloating in the abdomen ...

The occurrence of endometriosis in the ovaries causes endemetrioma, popularly known as "chocolate cyst". Women who say "I feel bloated in my stomach" and who constantly complain of gas are knocking on the doors of many physicians until they learn that these complaints are caused by the chocolate cyst. Stating that internal medicine or gastroenterology specialists are generally consulted due to complaints, Prof. Dr. Mete Güngör said, “What is thought to be swelling or gas in the abdomen can actually be a cyst that develops due to endometriosis. Women can waste a lot of time until they find the right address for treatment. This causes the cyst to grow and the complaints to increase, ”he says.

Can prevent being a mother

Another point that makes endometriosis, which reduces the quality of life, even more important for women, is its effect on fertility. Explaining that endometriosis can prevent egg release from the ovaries due to obstruction and adhesion, especially in the tubes and ovaries, and this may cause infertility. Dr. Mete Güngör says the following:

“Some substances secreted from endometriosis foci can also prevent the fertilization of the egg and sperm or their implantation in the uterus. Studies in this area also show that 15-55 percent of women who consult a doctor because of infertility have endometriosis. However, not every endometriosis disease causes infertility. Some patients can get pregnant naturally. Some of them can have a baby with auxiliary treatment methods. "

Ovarian cancer is more common

One of the biggest question marks about endometriosis is the concern that the disease will cause cancer. Noting that in some scientific studies, it has been concluded that ovarian cancer is more common in those with endometriosis. Dr. Mete Güngör, "He emphasizes that especially the endometriosis seen in the elderly should be evaluated very well, surgically removed and pathologically evaluated ”.

The main treatment method is surgery

The diagnosis of endometriosis is made by physical examination, ultrasound, MRI and laparoscopy after resting the patient's complaints. Treatment is carried out with medication and surgical methods, depending on the level of the disease, the severity of the symptoms and whether the woman wants to have a child. Drug treatment is mostly applied in cases where pain is the main problem. Stating that although the main treatment method of endometriosis is surgery, not every patient is operated. Dr. Mete Güngör said, “Surgery is preferred to increase fertility and reduce pain. Surgical method is used especially in women who have severe pelvic pain that disrupts the quality of life, who do not benefit from drug therapy, who are known to have endometriosis and who cannot become pregnant even if they wish, and who have large chocolate cysts. However, endometriosis can recur at a rate of 10-30 percent. "

Endometiosis surgeries are preferred to be performed by laparoscopic method known as "closed method". Thanks to these surgeries performed with small incisions without touching the reproductive organs, less tissue is damaged and the patient heals in a short time. It is important that these surgeries are performed by experienced physicians in order not to impair the fertility and hormonal functions of the patient and to reduce the possibility of recurrence of the disease.

Watch out for these symptoms!

Endometriosis can be overlooked due to the wide variety of complaints it causes. For this reason, women perceive the signals coming from their bodies correctly and take action in a timely manner increases the comfort of life. So, what signals from our body are caused by endometriosis? Prof. Dr. Mete Güngör lists these symptoms as follows;

  • Backache,
  • Prolonged groin and abdominal pain,
  • Severe menstrual pains,
  • Excessive bleeding menstruation,
  • Pain during sexual intercourse,
  • Constant tiredness,
  • Difficulty getting pregnant,
  • Infertility,
  • Changes in bowel habits and pain when urinating,
  • Constipation, bloating
  • Inability to concentrate,
  • Depression.

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