A common debilitating and often progressive condition that warrants early diagnosis and treatment.
Endometriosis may be diagnosed by clinical examination and ultrasound scan but often requires a laparoscopy. Treatment options will depend on your symptoms, age and fertility wishes. These may include hormonal treatments, such as the mini Pill, and the Mirena coil. Alternatively, laparoscopic surgery with ablation and excision of endometriosis and in severe cases, GnRH analogues and definitive surgery with hysterectomy and removal of the ovaries.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a long term condition where cells that normally line the womb (called the endometrium) are found elsewhere, usually in the pelvis around the womb, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It is not cancer and it is not infectious. It is a very common condition affecting up to 5-10% of women. Mr Aldrich is able to perform a pelvic assessment, and a pelvic ultrasound scan in order to assess for endometriosis. Some of the common symptoms associated with endometriosis include:
The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. Many experience cramping before and during their menstrual periods, those with endometriosis typically describe menstrual pain that’s far worse than usual. Pain also may increase over time.
Dyspareunia (or painful intercourse) is a condition that occurs during or after intercourse within the pelvis. This can be both superficial or deep. There are many causes for this, vulvodynia, vaginismus, endometriosis, or PID, to name but a few.
Pelvic pain and cramping may typically begin before and may extend several days into a menstrual period. You may also have lower back and abdominal pain. Irregular bleeding can also be a common feature.
Endometriosis can influence fertility in several ways: distorted anatomy of the pelvis, adhesions, scarred fallopian tubes, inflammation of the pelvic structures, and altered immune system functioning. Sometimes, endometriosis is first diagnosed in those seeking treatment for infertility.
Pain with bowel movements or urination
The symptoms of bowel endometriosis are similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome, however they can vary with the menstrual cycle, worsening in the days before and during a period.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition and can make patients fatigued, both emotionally and physically, and unable to manage at times during their menstrual cycle.