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Endometriosis is a chronic but benign gynaecological problem that occurs in women of reproductive age. This is when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (med. endometrium) grows on one or more organs. Endometriosis can affect not only the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, but also the peritoneum, bowel and bladder, for example. The tissue growths or lesions designated as endometriosis sites grow and bleed, so that the tissue becomes inflamed and scarring ensues over time. These tissue changes make fertilisation or implantation of an embryo difficult.
The causes of endometriosis are not clear. There are different theories as to why tissue changes occur. These include:
The complex symptoms and the development of endometriosis suggest that there is no single cause for its formation. It is much more likely that an interplay of different factors causes the disease.
There are two basic treatment options for endometriosis patients suffering from infertility. In minimal endometriosis, the first step is to remove all detectable endometrial tissue, and then to see if a pregnancy occurs naturally. If endometriosis is severe or occurs repeatedly, our recommendation is in vitro fertilisation after the surgery to improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.
A detailed diagnosis as well as consultation with our are always carried out before the endometrial tissue is removed, in order to specify the treatment goals for each patient individually. This is followed by treatment for endometriosis:
In patients who want to conceive, full preservation of the organs is the highest priority. Severe endometrial lesions on the uterus or fallopian tubes can therefore sometimes not be completely removed. In these cases, the recommendation is artificial insemination after treatment.
Source: Endometriosis Research Foundation, Germany