It is estimated that one in ten women in Norway has endometriosis. This amounts to more than 250,000 people.
For many, the disease can be very painful and lead to, among other things, challenges in getting pregnant.
However, there is little research on endometriosis, and women with this disease for several years are in despair from the lack of treatment and help.
But gynecology may now experience a long overdue breakthrough.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue resembling the endometrium grows outside the uterine cavity.
This causes a lot of pain, and the condition can make it difficult for some to conceive.
The most common symptoms of endometriosis are:
- Severe pain during menstruation
- difficulty getting pregnant
Other signs of endometriosis are:
- Pain during intercourse (deep thrusts)
- Fatigue/obvious fatigue
- Pain during defecation and/or urination
- Bloating, nausea, and alternating stool patterns
compared to breast cancer
British newspaper Watchman He writes that researchers in Sydney have achieved what they refer to as the world’s first breakthrough in treating endometriosis.
Researchers at the Royal Sydney Hospital grew tissues from all known types of endometriosis, observed the changes and compared how they responded to treatments.
Professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Jason Abbott, told the paper the development is similar to what was done in the treatment of breast cancer three decades ago.
– 30 years ago we treated all types of breast cancer the same way. We now know that there are many different types of breast cancer, and we treat them accordingly, says Abbott.
Coming to Norway
Knowing the type of endometriosis in a woman, one can provide a more adaptive treatment.
– Now we can predict whether a woman is likely to develop an aggressive form of the disease. We can then decide whether or not the patient needs fertility treatment, says the professor.
Juri Burdsto Majak, an obstetrician and gynecologist, as well as department chair and chief physician in the department of gynecology at Oslo University Hospital (OUS), told TV2 that they had received funding to carry out the same research.
Therefore, the breakthrough by the Australian researchers could be very good news for Norwegian endometriosis patients as well.
– In the long term, this can have a significant impact. This means that you can have a personalized treatment that works on each individual’s tissues, Majak explains.
The chief physician says personalized therapy is the way to go throughout the medical profession.
—but especially for patients with endometriosis, because they’ve been through many years of trial and error, says Majak.
The chief physician says they initially received funding to start the study, which they hope will begin in the fall.
In June, they will receive a response to the application to the Research Council.
– The better the financing, the faster the result.
The application of this type of research to endometriosis is still in its infancy, and only a few countries have initiated it.
Majak is very happy that Norway is among those.
– This is very positive, and this is something we have been waiting for, she says and continues:
– This way of looking at endometriosis is absolutely prescriptive for us to advance, both in terms of knowledge about treatment and how the tissues behave, she says.
– incredibly exciting
Elizabeth Rasholm Larbe, president of the Endometriosis Society, is very positive about the research project.
“This sounds incredibly exciting and interesting, and we hope it provides some important answers and results,” she tells TV2.
For women with endometriosis, it’s very important to finally experience hearing, says Rasholm Larbe.
– It’s incredibly positive and is a good sign that things are happening. This is a step in the right direction.
If the study proves successful, the head of the Endometriosis Society believes it could be of great importance.
– This will improve diagnosis and treatment options, which in the long term will improve expectations that more people can stay in work and fewer people fall out of society.
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