Why is Endometriosis so Difficult to Treat?

As we mentioned in our last blog, March is International Endometriosis Awareness Month, and the team at First Smile is dedicated to spreading awareness of this disorder to work toward improving diagnosis and treatment options. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, 30% to 50% of all infertile women in the U.S. have endometriosis; furthermore, 5% to 10% of all women have endometriosis. With the numbers this high, why is endometriosis so difficult to diagnose and treat?

In many cases, endometriosis can take a long time to diagnose – sometimes more than ten years. Though abdominal pain and infertility are two common side effects of endometriosis, this condition affects every woman differently, presenting itself in a diverse array of symptoms. With a large area of possible sites of endometriosis in the female reproductive system, from the pelvic area to the urinary and digestive systems, it can be hard to determine where to treat it.

As time goes on, endometriosis becomes more difficult to treat; the endometrium tissue continues to spread to different areas, ultimately requiring more searching and further treatments. In severe cases, the tissue occasionally regrows after removal, with the rate of recurrence resting somewhere between 5% and 20%.

In light of Endometriosis Awareness Month, we encourage all women to assess their own risk of endometriosis and to talk to their physicians if symptoms present themselves. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You have a higher risk of endometriosis if your mother, sister, or other close female relative has endometriosis or experiences intense abdominal pain.
  • A low BMI may be a sign of endometriosis.
  • If you’ve been prescribed anti-inflammatory medicines to control pain, you may be suffering from endometriosis.
  • Pay attention to your pain levels during menstruation or any chronic pain in your abdomen.

Your reproductive health is a critical component of your overall health and wellness. Click here to learn more about endometriosis diagnosis and treatment. If you experience painful menstruation or chronic abdominal pain, talk to your physician immediately to find the right treatment. If you need to find an egg donor in Chicago to help you overcome infertility, get started with First Smile today. Call 847-656-5276 to learn more.