By Royal Ibeh,
With Endometriosis affecting the everyday life of about 175 million women and girls globally, dedicated medical team and disciplinary approach would help to improve the quality of life of people that are living with the condition, global experts in the world of gynaecology, revealed.
Gynaecologists, at a two-day international conference on Endometriosis, organized by the African Endometriosis Awareness Support Group, in conjunction with the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), said the need to improve the quality of life of women/girls living with Endometriosis cannot be overemphasized.
Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with the London North West University Healthcare Trust, Dr. Stewart Disu said women living with Endometriosis face challenges ranging from depression, hostility and anxiety, as revealed by a study from Italy, conducted in 2014, using a visual analog score system.
The gynaecologist said the chronic nature of the disease interferes with numerous areas of the patient’s life like employment, social issue, relationship issue, emotions, sexuality, deterioration in the quality of life, displaying high levels of anxiety and depression.
Despite the fact that women suffer, the factors affecting the quality of life, according to the gynaecologist include the inability for most patients to express themselves and the fact that most doctors find it difficult to diagnose the condition. On top of that, most surgeons don’t treat till age 30 years leading to advanced Endometriosis and infertility, he added.
The way forward, according to Disu, is to improve the quality of life through various therapy sessions, adding that acupuncture is not a bad idea because it help patients to relax. He said, “The most important thing for me is patient’s preparation, that is, deciding whether she needs surgery or not, where and when, most likely in a specialist unit. Team work has a major role to play to achieve all that, because everyone has a role to play.”
In the same vein, a gynaecologist, Julien Bakenga said the major problem of Endometriosis is the delay to diagnosis, adding that major diagnostic delay goes from 6 to 10 years. “More than 67 per cent of our patients report first symptom before the age of 19. The delay from first symptom to first visit to doctor is longer for women under the age of 19 verses women above 19.”
While diagnostic of Endometriosis remain the main challenge in the treatment of the condition, Bakenga said the limitation of the delay to diagnosis is the key, adding that the need for experts like surgeons, radiologists, sonographers etc, in treating Endometriosis cannot be overempahsized.
Head of minimally invasive and robotic gynaecologic surgery unit, University Hospital of Modena, Italy, Dr Carlo Alboni, said, it is very important to refer patients to a high volume centers for Endometriosis diagnosis and management with expert sonographers to perform correct diagnosis before the surgical or medical treatment of the patients would begin.
In his remarks, the professional development committee chairman, SOGON, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi said, “We hope to improve the quality of life of women and girls who are suffering from this condition through early diagnosis, timely and appropriate management of Endometriosis in Africa. We need to have dedicated team and disciplinary approach to the management of Endometriosis and until then, I think we will just be scratching the surface,” he added.
President of SOGON, Professor Oluwarotimi Akinola said Endometriosis is all about improving the quality of life, while urging surgeons and gynaecologists to make it their goal to improve the quality of life of women living with the condition.
Themed: ‘Recent Advancements In Endometriosis Diagnosis And Management’, the second part of the conference is scheduled to hold on the 10th of October, 2020, with global speakers like Francisco Carmona from Spain, who will be speaking on Association Of Endometriosis & Infertility: Do We Have Any Evidence? and Dr Abayomi Ajayi from Nigeria, who will be discussing the topic: Endometriosis and Infertility: Who Needs ART.
Other speakers are Dr. Olarik Musigavong from Thailand, speaking on Management of Endometriosis: To Remove Or Not To Remove; Dr. Femi Olarogun from South Africa, will be discussing the topic: Fertility Preservation In Endometriosis; Dr. Juwon Alabi from Nigeria, will be speaking on Impact Of Endometriosis On Obstetric and Neonatal Outcomes and Prof. Lian Zhang from China, will be speaking on High Intensity Focused Ultrasound In Management Of Endometriosis.