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Unraveling the mystery of endometriosis in female fertility (2)

With  Dr. Abayomi Ajayi

Endometriosis has been an enigmatic disease since its first diagnosis in the mid-19th century.

Since that time, there has been a continuous stream of information and discoveries, but up until today, there are still many unanswered questions. Why does it strike some women and not others?

Why do some women with extensive endometriosis, have hardly any symptoms while others with minimal disease have severe symptoms? What is the best way of diagnosis and treatment and what exactly is the mechanism for reducing fertility in women who have endometriosis?Infertility problems can be traced to endometriosis in one out of four couples.

Indeed the primary interest in research on its etiology and the best and most effective ways to control the disease or possibly eradicate it altogether has been on the increase.

While not saying that a regular doctor should not be consulted for advice, the message I’m putting across is that with any disease, a specialist is the best at making a conclusive diagnosis.

For instance, the average amount of time it takes for a woman to get an accurate diagnosis from the onset of symptoms is could be in the range of about 10 years.

This is due to the lack of research and information getting to doctors and the fact that endometriosis can mimic many other diseases and disorders, so it makes sense to accept that the best thing is to seek out an endometriosis specialist and let them confirm the possibility, or not, of the disorder.

The most common areas for endometriosis to implant are on the ovaries, the outside wall of the uterus, fallopian tubes, pelvic cavity, and reproductive organ ligaments. Lesions can also be found on the bladder, bowel, cervix, vagina, and abdominal surgery scars.

The only proper and sure way to diagnose endometriosis and appreciate the extent of the disease is by using laparoscopy. When endometriosis is found at surgery, the individual lesions are removed or destroyed. Adhesions, frequently accompanying endometriosis, are treated at the same time.

Some of the historical data of endometriosis therapy dates back to the 1950’s when increasing doses of oral contraceptives had been used in hopes of controlling the disease.

•Continues next Tuesday


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