The symptoms of endometriosis can vary. Some women are badly affected, while others might not have any noticeable symptoms. In this Gynaecologist’s Guide to Endometriosis, you will understand the condition in more detail and the treatments that are available.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue, similar to the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus, also grows outside of the uterus. The most common places where endometriosis occurs are the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the bowel, and the areas in front, in back, and to the sides of the uterus.
There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are several treatment options. The best treatment depends on your individual situation.
Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis of Endometriosis
The cause(s) of endometriosis is not known. There are several theories and there is ongoing research to find a cause for this condition.
Some women with endometriosis have no symptoms. The most common symptom is a pain in the pelvic area, especially with periods. Some women with endometriosis may find it difficult to conceive.
Endometriosis may be suspected based on your symptoms of pelvic pain or painful menstrual periods. However, the only way to know for sure if you have endometriosis is to have surgery so a doctor can actually see and biopsy the abnormal tissue.
More information on the causes, symptoms and diagnosis can be found here.
Gynaecologist’s Guide to Endometriosis Treatment
Not all women require treatment for endometriosis. The best treatment depends on your future plans to become pregnant and what symptoms are most bothersome. Treatment options are varied so it is important to understand each individual case before prescribing.
Non-Hormonal painkillers often work better in combination e.g. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. They do not shrink or prevent the growth of endometriosis but do ease symptoms.
Hormonal medications allow you to have fewer periods and have less pain and bleeding during each period.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists cause temporary menopause. The treatment causes the ovaries to stop producing oestrogen, which causes endometriosis implants to shrink.
Laparoscopy (‘key-hole’ surgery) is the gold standard for diagnosis as well as the excision or ablation of endometriosis.
Removal of the uterus or ovaries — Your doctor might recommend surgery to remove your uterus or ovaries in certain circumstances.
Mr Philippe de Rosnay is a Consultant Gynaecologist in London. He is also a Laparoscopic (‘key-hole’) Surgeon and Obstetrician at Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, based at the West Middlesex Hospital site. He believes in delivering high quality, patient-centred care in a professional and personalised manner.
If you would like to contact Mr Philippe de Rosnay and discuss the content of this Gynaecologist’s Guide to Endometriosis, please contact us.