Endometriosis is a chronic disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the womb (uterus), the endometrium, appears and grows outside the uterus.

These tissues are most commonly found in the ovaries, fallopian tubes and vaginal walls, but can also affect the colon, rectum, bladder and ureter. The abnormal location can cause pain, inflammation and other complications, affect menstrual cycles, trigger immunological reactions and can cause infertility.

Endometriosis is a complex disease that can have a wide range of symptoms and consequences, and can take time to recognize and diagnose. Therefore, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible if you have symptoms.

It is estimated that 10% of women of reproductive age may be affected by endometriosis. Although the vast majority of women of childbearing age (25-35 years) are affected the disease can be diagnosed as early as 12-15 years of age or as late as 35 years.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

The most common symptoms include persistent and recurrent pelvic pain, severe menstrual pain, pain during sexual intercourse, urinary retention problems and digestive problems. It is also possible that the only symptom is infertility, which affects around 40% of women with endometriosis.

How can the disease be diagnosed?

The variety and varying intensity of symptoms make diagnosis difficult and can take years. In addition to specialist medical examination – manual examination, vaginal ultrasound, MRI in appropriate cases – targeted laboratory tests are the most useful tools for diagnosis. Women with endometriosis may have abnormal levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), so it may be worth having laboratory tests to check this. Serum levels of CA-125 and HE4 may be elevated in endometriosis; thus, their measurement may help to detect the disease.

Early diagnosis and treatment are key to relieving symptoms and preventing complications. Therefore, it is important to start diagnostic tests as soon as possible in case of suspicion.

HR-Pharma’s Endometriosis Laboratory Package are available at two sites in Szeged.

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