Endometriosis is a very frequent pathology that affects between 10 and 30 percent of Spanish women. On the occasion of the International Week of Endometriosis (SIE), the experts wanted to point out that their main problem is that the diagnosis is usually too late, lasting, sometimes, between five and ten years since the first symptoms are detected, a "excessively long" period of time, during which the disease evolves and can have very harmful consequences on the quality of life of those who suffer it, as Juan Antonio García Velasco, director of the IVI Madrid Clinic, has pointed out.

He explains that this disorder consists of the appearance and growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, especially in the pelvic cavity, as in the ovaries, behind the uterus, in the uterine ligaments, in the urinary bladder or in the intestine. Less often it can appear outside the abdomen, such as in the lungs or other parts of the body. "It can appear throughout the entire reproductive life of the woman, from menarche (first rule) to menopause, although sometimes, it can last until after this period and, in general, arises during the second decade of life ", Says the expert.

However, endometriosis alters, to a greater or lesser extent, the quality of life of women who suffer from it, affecting their relationships as a couple, family, work and even reproduction. In fact, 30% of patients suffer from infertility, although most can become pregnant with assisted reproduction techniques.

90% can have children with reproductive techniques

"It is estimated that of the total number of infertile couples in Spain, in about 10 or 15 percent of cases there are endometrial components related to this inability to have children," García Velasco explains, adding that, thanks to new techniques of assisted reproduction, currently almost 90 percent of women with this problem can be mothers.

As noted, the symptoms are very varied depending on each case, although they are usually associated with intense menstrual pain, urination, defecation and during sexual intercourse. "Sometimes, the pain is so strong that it incapacitates the woman in her daily life, forcing her to stay in bed."

Among the risk factors that can contribute to the development of the disease, García Velasco points out that girls who have a very early period or women with an excessively abundant flow are more likely to suffer from this pathology. In addition, he adds, "this disease has an important genetic component, which does not mean that it is transmitted from mothers to daughters, but that the possibilities increase in the case that someone in the family suffers it."

Generally, the pain that causes this pathology is handled well with pharmacological products, such as the contraceptive pill or different classes of analgesics or estrogen blockers. "However, sometimes, it is necessary to resort to surgery when the pain does not decrease with medication or when very large cysts of, for example, more than five centimeters," he says.

Based on current data on the disease, the expert believes that there is a patent lack of information on this disease, its symptoms and consequences. To avoid this, the IVI centers have launched a series of online meetings to clarify doubts and offer medical information "filtered and rigorous" to all those people who want to know more about this disorder.


Endometrial Cancer: How to Recognize the Symptoms | Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (November 2019).