A new medicine for endometriosis was announced during the two-day Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress, held March 31 – April 2, 2013, at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, UAE. Previously, the only remedy available for the medical condition were pain relievers.
Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological diseases, affecting over 70 million women and girls world-wide. In the UAE alone, it affects around 100,000 women.
Endometriosis is a medical condition that results from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. This usually results in severe pelvic pain. About 30 to 40 percent of women with endometriosis are infertile — making it one of the top three causes of female infertility.
The event was marked with prominent speakers and experts who took part in the meet and presented their papers, research and views.
Dr. Nicholas Leyland, Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, presented his paper; Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB) Management: SOGC Guidelines. In his presentation he noted;
“Some of the symptoms of endometriosis include pain during period, pre-menstrual pain, which is more severe than the natural menstrual pain and the pain severity does not necessarily involve the large size of endometriosis, pain during and after sexual intercourse, severe acute or abnormal uterine bleeding, and infertility.”
Dr. Leyland added that there are other symptoms, such as fatigue, menstrual cramps (Dysmenorrhoea), lower back pain, and diarrhea or constipation, as well as some other menstruation-associated intestinal disorders. He said, “There are, however, some cases that do not suffer from any symptoms.”
Highlighting the benefits of the new drug, Dr. Muna Tahlak, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Latifa Hospital, Dubai, said;
“The new medicine would significantly reduce the pain associated with the disease. Medical specialists estimate that the number of UAE Nationals and residents, who suffer from symptoms of this disease, has reached 100,000 mark by now across the country.”
She added that clinical trials involving women living with endometriosis for up to 15 months, at a low dose found the new drug containing the active ingredient, Dienogest, can effectively reduce the pain and is as effective in treating the disease as a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRH-analogue). She further added that patients treated with the new drug in clinical trials, reported a continuous improvement in alleviating the pain associated with endometriosis over 15 months.
Ruling out any ill effects of the medicine, she said that clinical studies have shown that the new drug has no serious side effects from the decrease in the levels of estrogen in the body, such as low bone mineral density, and other menopausal symptoms associated with the GnRH-analogue treatment such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness.
Dr. Bassem Abdullah, Country Division Head Gulf, and spokesperson of Bayer HealthCare Middle East, said;
“We are committed to improving the health and well-being of women and their families in general, through researching and developing new treatment options for diseases afflicting women folk. Doctors and patients concerned with the disease feel that the introduction of the new endometriosis treatment to global and local markets marks a considerable step forward in treating this chronic, debilitating disease.”