Beware Of Endometriosis, A Silent Killer Of Ovaries: Experts Warn Women

(MENAFN- IANS) Bengaluru, March 8 (IANS) Women should be aware of the rare disease endometriosis, regarded as a silent killer of ovaries and a slow killer of fertility, experts warned on International Women's Day, as March is also considered the Endometriosis Awareness Month.

Once a rare disease, it is commonly diagnosed these days and the prevalence of endometriosis is on the rise in Karnataka, experts pointed out.

Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition where endometrial tissue (tissue similar to the lining of the uterus) grows outside the uterus.

Endometriosis can make organs like the uterus, bladder, or the bowels stick together at certain points, and this condition is called 'adhesions'.

Dr Usha BR, Consultant, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Fertility and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru, explained that approximately 70 per cent of women visiting the outpatient department with complaints of painful menstrual periods and dyspareunia are diagnosed with endometriosis, with some cases being asymptomatic.

“I see a minimum of 25 cases per month. It also causes painful intercourse leading to sexual dysfunction, interpersonal conflicts and later on infertility. Endometriosis is a silent killer of ovaries and slow killer of fertility,” Dr. Usha explained.

“Endometriosis that afflicts 10 to 15 per cent of women in their reproductive years and 70 per cent of those with chronic pelvic pain, often remains veiled by misdiagnosis, prolonging needless suffering,” said Dr Ramesh B, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Chief laparoscopic surgeon, Endometriosis Specialist, Altius Hospital, Bengaluru.

“It usually presents as severe dysmenorrhea, manifested as intense pain during periods, which is frequently dismissed as normal. These women endure not only physical agony but also mental anguish, as their severe pain is often attributed to a presumed lower pain tolerance by their peers,” Dr. Ramesh stated.

With an average diagnostic delay of 6.7 years, the journey is marred by persistent pain and compromised well-being.

Early detection, particularly in adolescence, offers a glimmer of hope, potentially mitigating anguish and preserving fertility, he explained.

In Bengaluru, Karnataka, akin to many regions, the hurdles in diagnosing and managing endometriosis endure, compounded by obstacles like cost and symptom complexity.

Yet, the prospect of early intervention remains a beacon of hope, promising relief from pain, halting disease progression, and safeguarding the fertility of women throughout the region, Dr. Ramesh stated.

Dr. Sharvari Mundhe, Consultant, Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist, Motherhood Hospital, Sarjapur, Bengaluru, explained, "Endometriosis poses a significant health challenge for women worldwide, significantly impacting their daily lives and reproductive health. With approximately one in ten women globally affected by this condition, its prevalence is substantial. In India alone, it is estimated that 25 million women are grappling with endometriosis.”

Despite its widespread occurrence, endometriosis remains a perplexing puzzle in the medical domain, often evading detection during diagnosis and leaving women to endure its burdensome effects in silence, she said.

“Urgent attention is needed to develop effective treatment options, given the profound toll it takes on physical, emotional, and reproductive well-being. Empowering women to better manage symptoms and safeguard their reproductive health requires increased investment in research, education, and access to specialised treatment options,” she added.

Dr. Usha said that endometriosis, affecting 1 in 7 women, often manifests with pelvic pain, heavy periods, and infertility.“Yet, many sufferers may be asymptomatic, unaware of the condition's presence. Diagnosing endometriosis involves reviewing medical history, conducting pelvic exams, and often requires laparoscopic surgery for definitive confirmation and to remove endometrial tissue outside the uterus,” she said.

Lifestyle changes, such as diet modifications and stress reduction, may complement medical treatments. Early detection and comprehensive management improve outcomes, offering relief and enhancing the quality of life for those affected, concurred the experts.



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