Endometriosis: women often go undetected

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Endometriosis: women often go undetected or misdiagnosed

Endometriosis is a very common chronic disease in women, in which the womb lining (endometrium) grows abnormally outside the uterine cavity. The painful illness often remains undetected for years. In Germany, experts estimate that more than a million women suffer from proliferation of uterine tissue in the abdomen.

Endometriosis: common and difficult to diagnose women's suffering Endometriosis is considered by experts to be one of the most common but also the most difficult to diagnose women's suffering. For this reason, endometriosis centers such as those at the University Hospital Jena (UKJ) are explicitly devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. The specialist knowledge of the experts is bundled here. In order to be able to help the women concerned better and, above all, faster. Because it usually takes several years until a corresponding diagnosis is available. The various estimates of the experts assume three to 11 years or six to 12 years between the first appearance of the massive pelvic pain and the first diagnosis. However, endometriosis not only causes massive pain, but also leads to unwanted childlessness in numerous cases.

Endometriosis Center Level III at the University Hospital Jena The UKJ is currently the only such center in all of Central Germany to be awarded the certificate of the highest quality level as the “Endometriosis Center Level III” by the European Endometriosis League (EEL). In the accompanying press release, the director of gynecology at the UKJ, Ingo Runnebaum, emphasized: "Endometriosis always poses great challenges for us." To this day, according to the specialist, the complaints of the women concerned are far too often "dismissed as period pain, even by doctors who often know too little about the widespread but unknown clinical picture. ”The experts at the UKJ's Endometriosis Center want to change that. Here, the affected women can find all contacts from the surgeon to the endocrinologist to the pain therapist and psychologist under one roof.

Endometriosis causes unwanted childlessness Prof. Jürgen Weiss, endocrinologist at the Endometriosis Center, explained that "about 20 to 30 percent of all cases of unwanted childlessness (...) endometriosis are the cause". However, the cause can be remedied with the help of operations, the expert continues. In less severe cases, medication can also help to relieve the symptoms, the endocrinologist explained the treatment options at the Jena endometriosis center. Since the experts assume that "during the menstrual period, tissue cells settle outside the uterus via the fallopian tubes" and that menstruation itself is the cause of the disease, the solution, according to Prof. Weiss, "is (...) to regulate the cycle ". The combination of drug treatments based on hormone preparations (e.g. birth control pills) with minimally invasive surgical therapies can be used to successfully combat the disease. According to the expert, the surgical interventions can be carried out gently and with the smallest incisions thanks to modern surgical procedures.

Pain as an essential symptom of endometriosis Women around the age of 30 are most often affected by endometriosis. According to the European Endometriosis League, 70-80% of all women with chronic pelvic pain are diagnosed with endometriosis as the cause of this pain. In addition, about 10% of women of childbearing age are affected by endometriosis, according to the EEL. Regarding the possible signs, Prof. Dr. Ludwig Kiesel, Director of the UKM Women's Clinic: "Common symptoms of endometriosis are pain during menstrual bleeding, chronic pelvic pain and pain during sexual intercourse."

Responding early to the symptoms of the disease, women who observe the corresponding signs, should definitely seek medical help, as endometriosis spreads over time. The focus of the disease reacts almost as much to the cyclical hormonal changes in the body of women as the normal uterine tissue. They are built up or broken down regularly and bleed cyclically. Since the blood cannot normally flow outwards, the growths in the body continue to grow. This can lead to the development of cysts filled with blood and adhesions to the environment, which are often the cause of severe abdominal pain. Despite the treatment options, endometriosis is chronic because the disease can break out again and again even after successful therapy. The quality of life of the women affected is usually significantly affected by the disease. For example, in a survey, 65 percent of edometriosis patients said the disease had a negative impact on their professional lives, with 30 percent ending their employment due to the disease and 10 percent of women reducing their working hours. (fp, 16.11.2010)

Also read:
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Video: Endometriosis Symptoms and Causes: A Meet Our Researchers Video


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