Scientists working towards a better understanding of endometriosis have recently reported progress into the potential causes of the condition.
As of yet, there is no cure for this painful, chronic condition. It is also unknown why it occurs in some women and not others. Those who do suffer with it, report excruciating pain, often requiring surgical intervention. It can also negatively impact almost every aspect of a patient’s life, particularly their relationships as it can lead to painful sexual intercourse.
The new findings present hope that the cause of endometriosis could be discovered in the not too distant future.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is diagnosed when the endometrial tissue which is usually present inside a woman’s uterus, also begins to grow on the outside. It can potentially fuse organs together, and most commonly affects the fallopian tubes, ovaries and bladder. It is thought to affect approximately 10% to 15% of all women of reproductive age, though exact figures aren’t known.
Pain is the most common symptom associated with the condition. This can occur mostly around the time during a woman’s period, or it could be present on a daily basis. Some women find it is painful when they use the toilet, while others experience pain during or after sex.
Other potential symptoms include difficulty conceiving, depression and potentially heavier periods.
Understanding the new findings
The new study, published within the Biology of Reproduction journal, was carried out to aid with fertility treatments. Those suffering from endometriosis can experience significant difficulties in getting pregnant. A major challenge presented, is that women need to inform the physician about the day of their menstrual cycle prior to undergoing treatment. The study showed that the dates given and the actual dates are often totally different.
They took endometrium samples from approximately 80 different women. It was discovered that the day the women reported, and the day revealed by the molecular profile of the samples was frequently incompatible. The study therefore allows researchers to assign an exact date of the tissue samples taken to aid in future research.
A beREADY tool was used in the study, which is an advanced molecular tool which helps to provide clinics with relevant information to choose the best day for embryo implantation.
Could a breakthrough into the causes of endometriosis come soon?
Researchers are hopeful that a breakthrough will be made into identifying the causes of endometriosis soon. Technology is continually advancing, allowing scientists to be much more precise in their research. They will be able to eliminate potential side factors, making it simpler to identify any casual changes which occur within the condition.
Overall, endometriosis can have a devastating impact on a woman’s life. Not only does it cause chronic pain, but it can also lead to issues with fertility. However, it is worth noting that having endometriosis does not automatically mean you’ll have trouble conceiving. The condition does affect each woman differently, with some experiencing very few, minor symptoms.