The female uterus is made up of three layers:
Endometriosis is the spreading of the uterus lining outside the uterine cavity (for example, the abdominal cavity, the ovaries, on the fallopian tubes, on the bladder or the intestines). These foci of uterus lining undergo the same hormonal changes as the membrane of the uterine cavity itself.
The foci build up during the during the first half of the cycle and begin to bleed during menstruation. Unfortunately, there is no way out for blood in the abdomen. This leads to a chronic inflammatory reaction with subsequent scarring of the tissue. If endometriosis persists for many years, there can be scarring to internal organs, which in turn can lead to reduced fertility.
Endometriosis is often the cause of infertility and treatment is therefore supported by the Austrian IVF Fund.
The following symptoms can be an indication of endometriosis:
If endometriosis is suspected, a gynaecological examination (ultrasound and palpation) is carried out, but definitive diagnosis can only be made via laparoscopy. The procedure can improve the likelihood of a natural pregnancy and drastically reduce symptoms such as period pain (dysmenorrhea). The surgeon’s experience is of great importance here, so that the treatment does not reduce egg reserves and the chance of pregnancy.
Facts about endometriosis:
Adenomyosis is a special form of endometriosis, in which uterine lining-like cells grow into the middle muscle layer of the uterus. This leads to a thickening of the tissue. This causes the uterus to grow in size. Adenomyosis is a major challenge in fertility treatment.