At ReceptivaDx, we want to break the silence about endometriosis, specifically, silent endometriosis. Endometriosis affects many women and is not discussed as often and openly as it should be. Here is what patients should know about silent endometriosis and how our testing services can help:
What Is The Difference Between Silent Endometriosis and Endometriosis?
The difference between silent and regular endometriosis is the presence of symptoms. The tissue that lines a patient’s uterus can grow outside of the uterus, which can lead to endometriosis and issues with conceiving. Patients who experience intensely painful period symptoms like cramps or pelvic pain before and during their menstrual cycle may have endometriosis. Pain in the abdomen or lower back can also be present. Other symptoms may include experiencing pain during intercourse, urinating, or a bowel movement. Excessive bleeding during a menstrual cycle or bleeding in between periods can also be a sign of endometriosis. Infertility, in addition to the presence of these symptoms, may lead to an endometriosis diagnosis.
Patients who do not experience any of these symptoms but have had unexplained infertility may have silent endometriosis. This type of endometriosis can cause infertility issues without the presence of other severe symptoms, making it more difficult to diagnose. When symptoms are present, physicians can more easily diagnose the cause as endometriosis.
What Does ReceptivaDx Do?
RecpetivaDx is a test that may determine whether or not a patient has silent endometriosis. The process of the test is fairly simple as it begins during a regular OB-GYN or reproductive specialist visit. Before a patient schedules to receive our test, they should check with their physician to make sure testing is available; if not, they can request a kit online. During the visit, the physician will take an endometrial biopsy. This biopsy is then preserved and sent overnight to our facility. Our team then takes the patient’s biopsy and tests it for BCL6. The results of our testing are sent back to the physician in five to six business days.
What Does Positive For BCL6 Mean?
For patients who test positive for BCL6, endometriosis may be the reason for their infertility struggles. BCL6-positive patients are often more likely to have inflammation of the uterine lining. Once they have a positive BCL6 result, patients can move forward with their physicians to find the best treatment option for them. Here are a few treatment options that a patient can choose from:
A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that a physician may offer to find and remove signs of endometriosis. During this surgery, a patient is put under general anesthesia. A doctor will make a small incision near the naval and remove any physical elements of endometriosis, such as cysts, scar tissue, and adhesions.
Another treatment option for endometriosis is hormone therapy which is a non-invasive treatment. We have seen patients undergo hormone therapy for 60-90 days and achieve successful pregnancies. A physician or reproductive specialist can assist patients in choosing a hormone therapy that will work best for their situation.
Can Endometriosis Come Back?
After a patient undergoes a laparoscopy or hormone therapy, their endometriosis may return. Patients may see a six to 67% chance of reoccurrence of their endometriosis. Because of this, a patient may require several rounds of treatment before and after a successful pregnancy. Physicians can help guide patients through a plan of action if a patient wants several pregnancies after the initial treatment of endometriosis.
What Does Pregnancy After Endometriosis Treatment Look Like?
After a patient is treated for endometriosis, there are a few different pathways to pregnancy. One of these pathways is in vitro fertilization. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, can help patients who struggle with endometriosis or other infertility issues achieve a successful pregnancy. During an IVF procedure, the egg is collected from the female patient and then goes through the fertilization process in a laboratory with the sperm. A doctor places the egg inside the patient’s uterus if it becomes fertilized. From there, a patient can achieve a successful pregnancy.
Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is another way of achieving a pregnancy. During an IUI, a physician inserts concentrated sperm into the uterus during ovulation. Two weeks after the procedure, a patient can find out whether or not they are pregnant.
Treated endometriosis patients can attempt to achieve pregnancy before their diagnosis. If patients still struggle to get pregnant, they may want to consider surrogacy, adoption, or other ways of getting the family they want.
Not So Silent Endometriosis With ReceptivaDx
At ReceptivaDx, we offer testing and education on silent endometriosis to break the silence. Unexplained infertility can be confusing and frustrating because there is often a stigma surrounding it. We want our patients to feel free to speak to us and others about their diagnoses and struggles with fertility. Because of this, we offer free phone consultations, testimonials, and more. Contact us to learn more about our testing and other resources we offer.