11% of women are internally bleeding.
The women’s reproductive healthcare system is disgustingly behind of the 21st century’s women’s needs.
Imagine your body was internally bleeding and swelling everywhere. Gross, I know. You had no idea why that’s happening, nor is there an effective cure, BUT you can take drugs which are like 25% effective to relieve your pain, the other 75% of the time they make your symptoms worse but hey it is worth a shot! Because your interior feels like this:
So, how much worse can you get?!?!
First of all, your body’s probably fine. But you know who’s not fine? The 200 million women with endometriosis.
11 in 100 women suffer from endometriosis. The thing I described in the first paragraph. Your insides are internally bleeding, swelling and the pain is unbearable.
Now that we know it’s common as heck, what is it?
Endometriosis is what happens when a woman’s endometrium (tissue lining of the uterus which sheds/bleeds monthly) grows outside of the uterus onto other organs. Basically, someone goes from having 1 period in their uterus to having a period (monthly bleeding) on every single organ where their endometrium is growing.
And this means that every month during ovulation, 11% of women have bleeding happen inside and outside of their bodies (and the blood has no way out). This causes inflammation, severe pain basically everywhere and a whole long freaking list of symptoms.
1/2 of the women with endometritis are also infertile.
Let’s recap. This affects 200 M documented women, 50% experience low fertility or infertility, AND we have no cure at all.
The exact pathogenesis is unknown. Dang, it.
But, we do know that endometritis is a complex inflammatory disease and it’s estrogen-dependant.
Estrogen is a female hormone, that does a whole load of skills.
One of the things it does is it controls the shedding of the endometrium.
Women with endometriosis have more estrogen. Specifically more estradiol (E2) which is the type of estrogen that monitors menstruation/reproductive cycles. Hormones are like WI-FI, they signal things. By increasing the amount of wifi, we increase the speed/amount of signally. More estradiol also means more growth of the endometrial tissue: a thicker tissue means more bleeding.
Patients with endometriosis have more E2. Patients with endometriosis also have their uterus’s tissue (endometrium) grow wherever the heck it wants.
When the endometrial cells are in abnormal locations (aka not in the uterus), AND there is more E2, it bleeds & it inflames the surrounding organs, which causes pain in the pelvic region. Your body is basically this fish:
Weirdly-placed endometrial tissue + increased estradiol (E2)= puffy fish.
Soooo, in order for puffy fish (endometritis) to happen, we need to have more estrogen and abnormally placed endometrial tissue… why & how do these things happen?
Let’s start with the tissue.
One theory is that some endometrial cells spread throughout the body through retrograde menstruation. One ity bity problem is, like endometriosis, we have no idea why/how retrograde menstruation happens. I know… I know… using hypothesizes to explain hypothesizes isn’t a reliable science, but bear with me. The exact way these cells spread isn’t super relevant, the relevant part is that somehow, endometrial cells spread.
In case you’re curious, Retrograde menstruation is the opposite of a period where your body gets confused af and menstruates backward. This is expected to spread endometrial cells. Don’t ask how gravity lets that happen.
Except… this could be flawed because 67–90% of women have some retrograde action, but only 11% of women have endometriosis. BUT! There’s also tons of studies involving the genetics behind endometriosis… we’ll get to that soon 😉.
It’s generally accepted that endometriosis is partially caused by the spreading of the endometrial cells. They chill around in other parts of the body and they’re eventually activated by the E2 hormone. More hormones = more growth = worse endometriosis.
It’s not quite that simple though.
Also, has no one considered what the immune system is doing about this?? How are our bodies letting cells replicate wherever and whenever they want??
Immune system dysfunction.
Endo (yes, a cute little nickname for this awful disease; I’m getting tired from typing big words and always spelling them wrong) happens when your immune system is being unresponsive.
It’s an immune system (which is like an army) disbalance where you’re not producing the right amount of certain army crew. It’s like fighting a war in water, but the only army you have is a land army (which can’t swim).
There have been studies that found an abstract amount of certain cytokines (proteins that have a function) with patients with endometriosis. People tended to have more cytokines that promote angiogenesis ( blood cell formation), tissue growth and inflammation.
There’s an increase in the growth factors in the blood vessels. Blood vessels deliver nutrients and growth factors to tissues/organs. Ectopic (foreign) endometrium gets nutrients + growth factors to grow. The immune system doesn’t realize it’s feeding a monster.
So, the immune system is blindly feeding/growing tissues, how do the endometrial tissues “activate” bleeding?
Women with endo have higher doses of E2: studies show this is because these women have dysregulated doses of estradiol 2 hormones and their bodies don’t realize they’re producing too much.
Women with endo are also more resistant to progesterone which is an essential protein that helps with anti-inflammation. This also makes taking hormonal therapies more difficult.
Imagine having an incredibly strong wifi network (lots of estrogens) that only works on all the apps you don’t, like Prime Video (Sorry Bezos!), calm (headspace all the way 🙌) and any apps that just stay on your phone for no reason. Well, it doesn’t matter how strong your wifi is, because none of the apps you DO like work.
Endometritis is like this: it increases the amount of estrogen (“wifi”), but this only amplifies the “bad apps” of your body because you’re more resistant to progesterone. This resistance increases inflammation, pain, and screws with your emotions.
How do we treat it?
Remember writing that exam you didn’t study for? Where you’re literally guessing every question? That’s how we treat endometriosis.
In terms of pain, we give people random doses of hormones and hope it relieves their pain. 75% of the time this doesn’t work, and researchers have found that over time with our current therapies blood gets thicker + heavier.
One problem with our hormone therapies right now, is we find endometriosis too late (there are multiple stages).
When we find endo later, the progesterone resistance is up; it’s hard to reduce the estrogen production and treating with hormones becomes a more impossible task.
What’s iNSaNe is that the average time to diagnose endometriosis is 8 years. What??? Women go literally years thinking their pain is just because of their fricking uterus, but it’s actually a much more complex condition.
What’s EVEN INSANER is that only 20% of the world has heard of endometriosis, yet it’s the second most common gynecological condition. No wonder people think they’re just suffering from cramps — they have no idea what else they could have!!
Like literally every single other disease, when we diagnose matters! The sooner we do it, the less screwed up our immune system and hormones are: the easier it is to fix.
We need to find out about endo sooner, so our therapies could work a little better. ( But more realistically we need to learn more about this disease and come up with an actual cure, not a cute drug.)
People with endometriosis complain a ton about infertility(evolution makes us baby crazy). The fertility market is expected to be worth $36 B USD by 2026. Endometriosis causes infertility in women worldwide and we treat it by endo infertility by randomly poking at the endometrial tissue, hoping that the woman will be fertile again (sometimes it works!).
Since it takes so damn long to diagnose someone with endometriosis, by the time they find out, the only effective mechanism is a hysterectomy. [Removal of the uterus].
Women end up having to choose between relieving themselves from their pain, or being able to produce biological children. Many women go for being able to have children and suffer through the pain of their critical and dangerous condition.
However, women who don’t get the hysterectomy for fertility reasons find it increasingly more difficult to get pregnant. Because their body has serious inflammatory and sex-hormone imbalance, becoming pregnant becomes increasingly difficult. AND when women do get preggers their risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy (abnormal + dangerous pregnancy) increases.
But, it doesn’t need to be this way. Women shouldn’t have to compromise their health for their fertility. We should be able to do both.
This where Ammorra comes in.
Ammorra is a way to reproduce reproduction. We want to change the way we’re makin’ 👶 because millions of women are suffering from conditions like these so they can keep their fertility rolling. Ammorra wants to change the way women’s health operates, period. (No pun intended 😉).
We’re starting with diseases like endometriosis which impact MILLIONS of people. One of our short term goals is to introduce nanosensor monitoring of hormones, and nanoparticles foreign tissue detection so that we can:
- Live inside the reproductive system, and understand what’s going on
- Diagnose endometriosis (and other diseases) faster, so hormone therapy can be more effective, sooner.
We need to personalize hormone therapy plans to one’s individual necessities. We will do that by determining if a woman’s hormones are out of balance or not, then balance them.
These nanosystems will help your broken immune system. They will tell you when abnormal tissue begins growing, so it doesn’t take 8 freaking years to diagnose.
All the data collected by the nanosystems in your body will monitor you and keep you healthy. Ensuring that you’ll never feel the inflammatory impacts of Endometriosis again. We want you to know what’s going on in your body. Reproductive diseases like endo shouldn’t come as a surprise.
But, people are still going to have late-stage endometriosis, and we don’t want them to have to sacrifice their health for their fertility. That’s why Ammorra is developing the world’s first artificial wombs: where healthy babies are guaranteed, but pregnancy is optional. Article on artificial wombs coming soon 🚀.
It’s crazy that for decades and centuries women’s reproductive health hasn’t been our world’s priority. Until now.
We’re ready for a- MORE- (a) personalized, knowledgeable and option based reproductive healthcare system.