The disease requires early diagnosis and rapid treatment to improve the quality of life of women who suffer from the problem.
Endometriosis is a gynecological disease that affects more than 7 million Brazilian women, causing infertility in 30% of them, according to the Brazilian Association of Endometriosis (SBE). About 15% of women of reproductive age (13 to 45 years old) suffer from the problem. One of the challenges observed in the clinics is the delay in treatment due to late diagnosis: an average of eight years after the appearance of the first symptoms. In the world disease awareness month, the Yellow March Campaign alerts women to possible symptoms, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
The cooperative gynecologist at Unimed-BH, Cristiana Fonseca Beaumord, explains that endometriosis is a disease whose early diagnosis makes all the difference in the female reproductive future. “It is important to be aware of the symptoms and complaints of girls since adolescence. The sooner the proper control of the disease begins, the compromise of organs, tissues and the reduction of fertile capacity is avoided.”
The disease occurs when endometrial implants appear outside the uterus, in organs of the pelvic and/or abdominal region, such as the ovaries, uterus, intestine and bladder. “This endometrial tissue is hormone-dependent and endometriosis implants lead to an inflammatory process with repercussions that range from mild to severe”, explains the specialist from Unimed-BH.
Among the main symptoms are intense and often disabling menstrual cramps, chronic pelvic pain, discomfort during sexual intercourse and infertility. About 25% of women with endometriosis have no symptoms, discovering the problem only when they have difficulty getting pregnant.
Cause and diagnosis
The exact cause of endometriosis is not known, probably with a multifactorial origin. The gynecologist warns: “when a woman’s mother or sister has a history of endometriosis, we should be aware if the patient presents any complaints”.
The diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms, associated with imaging methods, both transvaginal ultrasound with preparation and magnetic resonance imaging in specialized centers. “That’s why routine consultation with the gynecologist is so important. The woman with endometriosis needs a humanized and appropriate treatment for each type of case, which can be clinical, surgical or combined”, concludes the cooperative member.
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