27 March 2020

Endometriosis: when your period paralyses your life

By the Editorial Comitee IVI Blog


  • Endometriosis affects 10% of women and some of them are unaware of it
  • Its symptoms include painful periods that become incapacitating on a day-to-day basis: missing school, being off work…
  • It is a chronic disease, there is no cure, but its effects can be alleviated 

We know that we are in troubled times. Suddenly our priorities have changed, but even if we have to stay at home, we want to continue talking about what we know, assisted reproduction and life. So we will continue telling you about everything that is of interest while we wait to resume our normal activity. Therefore, we do not want to let the month of March pass without mentioning that it is Endometriosis month.

For years this disease has been wrongly classified as “silent”, although in actual fact the women whom it affects suffer severe pain and discomfort. Some women with Endometriosis even become unable to cope with their daily routine.

Therefore, “a woman with significant pain during her period should suspect and know that it is not a normal consequence of her cycle; she must listen to her symptoms and discomfort and give voice to this condition that is anything but silent”, said Dr. Juan Antonio García Velasco, Director of IVI Madrid and specialist in Endometriosis. This is also why it can take between 7 and 10 years to diagnose this disease, when the symptoms are confused with discomfort and pain from menstruation. 

Symptoms of Endometriosis

The main symptoms of Endometriosis are:

  • More painful menstruation than usual (Dysmenorra)
  • Pain during or after sexual intercourse (Dyspareuine)
  • Pain when having a bowel movement or urinating
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Fatigue

As we have said, Endometriosis is a more common disease than was once thought. Between 5 and 10% of women suffer from it, and in Spain there are around 2 million sufferers. In addition, despite the fact that it has not been proven, it has been found that the possibilities of suffering from Endometriosis increase when there are cases in the family. On the other hand, contrary to popular belief, it is a benign disease, even though it can be related to ovarian endometrioma, which are benign ovarian cysts that can rarely become malignant.

Despite the fact that this disease has no cure, it is very important that it is detected as soon as possible to apply treatments that help alleviate its effects and to ensure it does not get worse. An early diagnosis is also essential for women who want to become mothers. If Endometriosis is not treated and it progresses to more severe stages it can cause difficulties in conceiving. Between 30 and 50% of women with infertility can suffer from this disease. And half of all women with Endometriosis can experience infertility. On the other hand, although we have previously commented that this disease has no cure, some women who suffer from it notice relief from pain during pregnancy, although it returns after giving birth.

Endometriosis and infertility

Another consequence of Endometriosis is infertility. Reproductive medicine, and more specifically the preservation of eggs, can provide these women with an adequate solution to their fertility problems with a high success rate. Vitrification of oocytes is the best guarantee in order to achieve their dream of becoming mothers in the future, also for those who have to undergo surgery that may compromise their fertility, or for those who simply wish to postpone motherhood. IVI has specific Endometriosis units in its clinics. Through diagnosis and proper treatment and monitoring, both medical and psychological, these patients feel supported and understood.

Talking about Endometriosis

Fortunately, we are at a time when more and more women are publicly acknowledging having this disease, as we can see in different press articles. One of the first actions that we can all do is to make each case visible. A few weeks ago, sisters Marta and Lucía Pombo accompanied us at an event dedicated to Endometriosis, during which they shared their experience as sufferers of this disease. 

We have many examples of women who with incredible willpower have fought for what they wanted and have trusted IVI to achieve it. Today they are the perfect example that through perseverance and with the help of our doctors we are one step closer to achieving what previously seemed impossible.

  • Violet: “Endometriosis has conditioned my whole life, but it has not prevented me from becoming a mother”
  • Yolanda: “Lack of knowledge led me to make the wrong decisions; fortunately, science showed me that I could become a mother”
  • Verónica: “I always thought: I don’t know when I will get pregnant, but every day is one day less to get there”
  • Victoria: “I’ve spent eight years fighting Endometriosis, but in the end I managed to have my babies”
  • Lucía: “I was sure that Endometriosis would not prevent me from achieving my dream of becoming a mother. And I was right”
  • Paula: “After 6 years of suffering, I am finally sure that I will get pregnant”
  • Susana: “Endometriosis showed its face just when I wanted to become a mother, but I didn’t give up”
  • Laura: “I was told me that it would be difficult for me to become a mother, but with hope and perseverance I managed to bring two wonderful children into the world”
  • Beatriz: “I went from not being able to have children to trusting in someone blindly and achieving it”

Can any of you identify with these testimonies? Can you tell us about your daily life with Endometriosis?


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