endometriosis and infertility

Scientists identify the reason endometriosis causes infertility

Scientists identify the reason endometriosis causes infertility

By I Soussis MD

Deficiency of a protein in the womb has been identified as the reason why endometriosis causes infertility, according to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine.

American and South Korean researchers investigated the link between endometriosis and infertility. In endometriosis, womb-lining tissue grows outside of the uterus, often on the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This can lead to chronic pain and is associated with infertility, but the mechanism has been unclear.

Around ten percent of women have endometriosis and up to 50 percent of endometriosis patients have infertility”, said lead author Dr Jae-Wook.

The scientists compared endometrial tissue from 21 women with endometriosis and infertility with samples from healthy women.

They observed that levels of a protein called histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) in the lining of the uterus of women with endometriosis were lower compared to healthy women. Previously developed animal models of endometriosis in mice and baboons supported this finding.

The team then developed mice unable to produce HDAC3 in uterine cells, all of which were infertile. Dr Jeong and his colleagues were able to show that HDAC3 is necessary for embryo to implant in the womb. Follow-up experiments with human endometrial cells cultured in vitro showed that HDAC3 is a crucial part of the changes that occur in the uterus, in preparation for and during pregnancy.

This study could help endometriosis patients and their doctors select more effective treatments and enable a better understanding of female infertility.

My opinion

Finally, the enigma of endometriosis starts to unravel. This is a significant study that shows for the first time that the levels of HDAC3 are crucial for the development of fertile endometrium. This line of research may lead to new treatments for endometriosis caused infertility.

It may also help in cases of recurrent implantation failure in IVF patients without endometriosis.

Read more:

http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/474/eaaf7533

https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_140740

Image credit

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/09/endometriosis-study-50-50-infertility-risk-women

 

Men living with endometriosis: insights and experiences of male partners, living with women with endometriosis

Image courtesy of holohololand at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of holohololand at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By I.Soussis MD

Hudson et al. from the UK, presented an interesting study at the latest ESHRE conference, held in Lisbon Portugal in June 2015.

The main question was: How do partners of women with endometriosis perceive the disorder and how do they help their wives/partners to deal with their symptoms and to seek medical help?

Endometriosis is a chronic gynaecological condition(disorder), affecting 5-15% of women, during their reproductive age.  The symptoms include painful menstruation, painful intercourse, tiredness, chronic pelvic pain and heavy periods.  Furthermore, 40% of visits to  fertility clinics are due to endometriosis.

Many studies show the negative effect endometriosis has on social and marital relations, as well as the help that the male partner provides.  However, most of these studies focus on the women’s experiences.

In this study “Endopart UK”, 22 heterosexual couples were interviewed.  The inclusion criteria were, a laparoscopic diagnosis of endometriosis and the cohabitation of the couple.  Both men and women were interviewed separately.

It was found that the impact endometriosis had on the daily lives of the men and on their feelings was impressive.

Every long term disorder affects the healthy partner, but endometriosis more than any other, because it affects the reproduction and sex life of the couple.

The partners took an active role during doctor’s appointments and helped their female partners to choose the right treatment. Their support during the implementation of the treatment was significant.

In the future, the treatment should not just focus on the woman, but should take into account the effect that endometriosis and its treatment have on the quality of the couple’s life and also that of the male partner.

ESHRE 2015, O-080: Men living with endometriosis:perceptions and experiences of male partners of women with the condition. N. Hudson, L.Culley, H. Mitchell, C.Law, E. Denny, N. Raine-Fenning

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