What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. During your cycle, the repetitive bleeding and inflammation of this tissue can result in pain and a build-up of adhesions. Depending on the location of this tissue, can depend on exactly what symptoms you may experience and if and where you will get pain. Endometriosis is a common but painful condition and can cause much distress to someone who suffers from it. The pain associated with Endometriosis can typically be cyclical but isn’t always the same for everyone.
There are many symptoms associated with Endometriosis including:
- Significant, painful periods
- Heavy periods
- Pain in your pelvis when opening bowel
- Pain during sex
- Feeling sick during your period
- Difficulty getting pregnant or infertility
The lesser-known symptoms include back pain and pain on moving bowels. This can be due to the Endometriosis being located around the uterosacral ligaments which connect the uterus and sacrum.
Where does Endometriosis develop?
Endometriosis is most commonly found within the pelvic area including:
- Uterosacral ligaments
It can also develop in:
- The diaphragm (look out for chest symptoms)
- Belly button (look out for changes in the belly button during the month)
- Surgical scars around the area (look for cyclical changes in the scar)
- The Groin (can show as a lump or being more painful during periods)
How is Endometriosis diagnosed?
1 in 10 women suffer from Endometriosis and it can be a debilitating condition, but it can also be difficult to diagnose, so people often experience a delayed diagnosis. This is often due to symptoms being confused for other conditions. The gold standard to diagnose Endometriosis is a laparoscopy. This is keyhole surgery where a laparoscope is inserted via your naval looking for signs for endometrial tissue outside of your uterus. If you are having symptoms that you suspect may be Endometriosis, it is best to seek advice from a GP or a specialist Gynaecologist for advice and diagnostics.
There are treatment options to help improve the condition and relieve some of the Endometriosis symptoms. These include:
- Over the counter painkillers including Paracetamol and Ibuprofen
- Hormone treatment including the combined pill, the contraceptive patch, or a intrauterine system (IUS)
- Surgery to remove patches of endometriosis tissue – this is usually done by keyhole surgery
- If the endometriosis is more severe and other treatment options do not help, it may be necessary to do an operation such as surgery to remove the womb (hysterectomy)
Following a diagnosis, you would start with the least invasive treatment option and see if that improves things first off, then progress to other treatment options if these are not effective, under the care and supervision of your Gynaecologist.
If you’re experiencing symptoms and would like an appointment, we are a specialist team based in Cheltenham. Please call us on 07805 354110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can provide advice and treatment for Endometriosis in Cheltenham.