Endometriosis is a condition where tissue, similar to the tissue of the lining of the womb (endometrium) , grows outside of the uterus.
The most common locations where endometriosis grows are the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the bowel, and the areas in front, in back, and to the sides of the uterus.
Some women with endometriosis have mild or no symptoms while others complain of severe pain or difficulty in conceiving.
There are several treatment options that depend on your individual situation
• Painful periods.
• Heavy periods
• Pelvic pain not related to the periods
• Pain during or after sexual intercourse
• Pain when passing urine
• Pain when opening bowels
• Bleeding from the bowel or the bladder during menstruation
• Difficulty in getting pregnant
A detailed history in combination with clinical examination will guide us to suspect that you have endometriosis. Common symptoms include pelvic pain, painful menstrual periods and pain during sex. Sometimes the symptoms are atypical though and it depends on the experience of the doctor to suspect endometriosis.
The gold standard method of diagnosis of the condition is laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery that allows the doctor to see and biopsy the abnormal tissue.
Traditional teaching stated that endometriosis cannot be diagnosed by ultrasound, x-ray, or other non-invasive methods.
Nowadays though when a transvaginal ultrasound is performed by a specialist gynaecologist it can detect rectovaginal endometriotic nodules, endometriosis between the rectum and the uterus and also urinary tract endometriotic deposits.
Endometriosis is considered mild, moderate, or severe depending on the location and the tissues affected.
Women with mild disease can have severe symptoms, and women with severe disease can have mild or no symptoms.
There are several treatment options for women with endometriosis:
Hormonal contraception (oral contraceptive pill, mini pill, progesterone releasing coil, Depo Provera injection, Progesterone implant)
Other forms of hormone treatment (gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists, progesterone preparations))
Mr. Athanasias is our consultant that specialises in management of endometriosis.