The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 180 million women suffer from endometriosis, a disease that, when left untreated, can lead to infertility and compromise organs such as the ovaries, uterus, bladder and intestines. In Brazil, the disease affects approximately 15% of the female population, corresponding to 7 million cases. Therefore, the yellow march emphasizes the importance of awareness and early treatment.
You main symptoms of endometriosis are the severe menstrual cramps, pain and intestinal bleeding most often related to the menstrual period and pain during sexual intercourse, compromising the well-being and life of the woman. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to guarantee a cure, but in many cases, in which surgery has been successful and able to remove all the lesions, the treatment is very effective in terms of symptoms, allowing these patients to to have their quality of life return.
Another consequence of untreated endometriosis is infertility. When the disease is treated early, it is possible to remove lesions and restore anatomy so that these patients can even become pregnant naturally, without the need for fertilization procedures. Additionally, some more recent studies suggest that women with endometriosis are at increased risk for certain subtypes of ovarian cancer, such as clear cell carcinoma, for example. Therefore, early treatment and awareness are essential to prevent worsening of symptoms and complications.
Although severe pain during the menstrual period is one of the most recurrent symptoms of endometriosis, there are patients in whom the disease is asymptomatic. Therefore, follow-up with the gynecologist is essential to diagnose possible cases. Self-knowledge and the perception of symptoms often lead a woman to suspect that something is wrong and seek help.
The main way to detect pathology is to perform a transvaginal ultrasound with bowel preparation performed by a radiology specialist with an emphasis on the diagnosis of the disease. Routine ultrasound examinations will only be able to diagnose larger lesions and will not always be as illuminating in relation to endometriosis.