There are several areas of the medical world that simply have not seen enough research to improve their outcomes, and sadly several of these are found within the realm of women’s reproductive health. A good example here is endometriosis, which can impact up to 10% of all women in reproductive ages – but which has seen surprisingly little clinical research in recent years.
At AGA Clinical Trials, we’re doing our small part to change that. We’re currently offering endometriosis trials for those in Miami, FL and nearby areas, helping to increase knowledge on this condition so that improved treatments and outcomes can be forged. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over what endometriosis is, plus some of the potential reasons why it hasn’t seen enough research and what can be done to change this.
For those unaware, endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that normally grows inside of the uterus — the endometrium — begins to grow outside of it. This can lead to pain and other uncomfortable symptoms, as well as fertility issues in some cases.
There are three main types of endometriosis: superficial which affects the outer layer of cells; deep infiltrating, which affects organs like the bowel or ovaries; and ovarian endometriomal cysts.
While the exact causes of endometriosis are still not known, there are a few theories that have been proposed to try and explain it. These include retrograde menstruation where menstrual flow goes backwards into the fallopian tubes and out into the abdomen, genetic factors, immune system dysfunction, hormone imbalances and environmental factors.
There’s a direct connection between endometriosis and fertility issues. Around 40% of women with infertility also have endometriosis, making it one of the most common causes of infertility in women. It’s important to note that while endometriosis can be painful and disruptive, it is not a life-threatening condition. However, due to its potentially serious complications for fertility, early diagnosis and management are essential for improving outcomes.
Why hasn’t this condition gotten proper attention across the research world. There may be a few reasons, which we’ll go over in our subsequent sections and on into part two of this series.
Trouble With Diagnosis
One of the most likely explanations for why endometriosis has not seen proper attention is due to its difficulty in diagnosis. The symptoms of endometriosis are incredibly varied, meaning it can be hard to identify and diagnose.
Further compounding this issue is the fact that some women may experience very mild symptoms, while others may have severe ones – making it difficult to diagnose ideally. This can mean that women with milder cases may not receive the help they need – as well as making it difficult to get accurate data on the condition.
In part two of our series, we’ll look at some of the possible ways this inequality can be addressed, and how research is being done to better understand endometriosis both in terms of diagnosis and treatment. At AGA Clinical Trials, we hope to do our part by offering trials that help better understand the condition and provide potential relief for those suffering from it. Learn more about this or any of our clinical trials by contacting us today!