Endometriosis is a chronic condition defined as the growth or presence of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus.
Endometriosis impacts approximately 10% of the women in their reproductive years, with 21-47% suffering from subfertility, while 71-87% experiencing chronic pelvic pain.(2)
The endometrial tissues are typically present in the pelvis - on ovaries, bladder and the ureter. Sometimes, these tissues may occur outside the pelvis, in areas such as the bowel and diaphragm.
Although the origin of endometriosis is still unclear, research suggests that there are several immunological and inflammatory factors that lead to the development of this condition.
There are several theories related to the cause of endometriosis. The most common one is retrograde menstruation. The other factors that contribute are genetics, immune system disorders and differentiation of stem cells outside the uterus.
The typical symptoms of endometriosis are:
Occasionally, some women experience pelvic pain even when they are not having their periods. Early studies have demonstrated serious gastrointestinal symptoms, including constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, acute abdominal pain and gastrointestinal dysfunction.
It's often not straightforward to diagnose endometriosis as the diagnosis requires an understanding of the detailed medical history of the patient, pelvic examination, ultrasound, gynaecological diagnostics & consultation. In some scenarios when the examination findings are normal, it gets all the more difficult to diagnose endometriosis. On average, it takes 8 years for endometriosis to be diagnosed in some patients. In most cases, this conclusion is reached after surgery.
Endometriosis is a hormone-facilitated, neuro-vascular disorder. The existence of endometrial tissue stimulates an oestrogen-dependent chronic inflammatory reaction. Pain originates from increased prostaglandins, compression, and infiltration of the nerves. The increased density of nerve fibres, angiogenesis and changes in innervation of the uterus also contribute to the pain.
Initially, the main indicator of endometriosis is painful menstruation and cyclic lower abdominal pain which leads to pelvic floor dysfunction. This can result in painful urination, intercourse and chronic pelvic pain. Shifts in the inflammatory processes can also cause inflammation in the nerves triggering hormone-independent, acyclic lower abdominal pain.
As mentioned before, pain may not be limited to the uterus but can be sciatic, rectal or can also take place during bowel movements. As the endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, the tissue thickens and the pain with endometriosis develops. Endometrial tissue could grow in different areas in the pelvic area, including the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries and block organ function causing inflammation and pain.
Another reason for pain is inadequate and inconsistent treatments which worsen the situation. Damage to pelvic nerves during surgery may result in long term neuropathic pain.
Many different treatment modalities are being studied to treat endometriosis. They include pharmacological, non-pharmacological and surgical treatments. The treatment protocols might change depending on a woman’s preference and priorities. Some women might decide to have children during the course of the treatment and accordingly the direction of the treatment might change. Endometriosis is a chronic condition affecting women throughout their reproductive lives and sometimes beyond. That’s why the pain management strategies need to be dynamic, and the patients need regular and thorough medical attention.
Women who are diagnosed with endometriosis suffer from pain symptoms, commonly dysmenorrhea, chronic pelvic pain, and dyspareunia. It affects an estimated 176 million women of reproductive age worldwide. Pharmacological options as the first line treatments help relieve symptoms in 50–80 % of the cases (4–7). Though a lot of women are hesitant to use medical treatments because of the side effects and also prolonged usage of the medication. Additionally, for some women, the pain medication dosages are not enough to relieve symptoms.(8) Subsequently, 20% of women who get the standard treatment still suffer from pain. (1) This is where NuroKor can help.
Through our development of unique bioelectronic technology and treatments, our objective is to support women around the world with alternative and effective pain management options to tackle endometriotic pain. Moreover, due to the non-invasive nature of our technology, they don’t have to worry about the side effects or the reliance on medication, they get the power to self-manage their pain. Daily usage of the NuroKor technology may also be able to help with the reduction of chronic pelvic pain. Research continues in this area.
Though seeking medical consultation and undergoing proper examination is always advisable before the application of any home based treatments to exclude any other ongoing medical problems.
This Q&A is not aimed to be medical advice or an alternative to medical advice. It could help the reader review and understand potential treatment options. This text does not contain all knowledge about disorders, treatments, adverse effects, or risks that may be appropriate for a particular patient, and it does not recommend any treatments for a specific patient. Patients must seek help from a health professional for complete information about their queries and treatment options, including any risks or benefits.
Founded in 2018, NuroKor is a company committed to the development of bioelectronic technologies. NuroKor develops and formulates programmable bioelectronic software for clinical and therapeutic applications, in a range of easy to use, wearable devices. It provides the highest-quality products, delivering personalised pain relief and recovery support and rehabilitation to patients.