There has been a sharp rise in endometriosis cases, a multi-system disorder, since the second Covid wave. Many women have been complaining of painful menstruation, cramps, painful sex, constipation, loose motions, bloating, back pain, leg pain, pain while urinating, pain while passing stools and rectal bleeding.
There are many women who are asymptomatic too. According to doctors, there has been a 20% to 30% surge in endometriosis disease sine the second wave. They said that timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment is the need of the hour.
A 20-year-old woman from Mangalore Heena Shetty (name changed) is currently in her third year of MBBS. She is suffers from severe pain during menstruation and ovulation, causing debilitation and lack of concentration. She used to experience excruciating pain for at least 10 days of the month. This affected her studies. Several visits to gynaecologists did not yield any result.
She then contacted Dr. Abhishek Mangeshikar, consultant laparoscopic and robotic gynaecologist, ACI Cumball Hill Hospital, who told her that she had an endometriosis cyst, also known as chocolate cyst, in the ovary and was attached to her rectum and pelvic sidewall. She was asked to do a laparoscopic excision, after which she felt better.
“Endometriosis affects girls and women of reproductive age and is attached to any organ associated with reproduction. It can be described as an abnormal growth of tissues resembling the uterine lining outside the uterus. The cause of endometriosis is unknown although there are many theories. The common symptoms are intense pelvic pain, infertility, long menstrual cycles, nausea or vomiting. The main reason why women should be aware of endometriosis is that the disease is quite common and not rare. More women suffer from this disease than breast cancer,” said Dr. Mangeshikar.
“I have operated upon 10 patients since the second wave. Since the last 9 months, I have seen hundreds of patients suffering from endometriosis. About 25 % of cases suffer from fertility issues but more than 90% suffer from pain,” said Dr Mangeshikar.
If a patient suffers from endometriosis, then she needs to visit a specialized endometriosis center and not a gynecologist.
“Surgery needs to be done by a well-trained, well-coordinated team of specialists and treatments need to be tailored toward the patient and not just towards the disease,” he said.