Spire Portsmouth Gynaecology at Spire Portsmouth Hospital provides women with pelvic pain disorders, including endometriosis and ovarian cysts, fast access to our specialist Consultant Gynaecologists. Our Gynaecologists are able to assess, diagnose and treat pelvic pain disorders. Giving women back the quality of life they deserve.
Find out more about the conditions treated at Spire Portsmouth Gynaecology below.
Endometriosis is a condition which causes a tissue, similar to the lining of the womb, to grow outside of the womb, usually in the abdomen. This reacts in the same way as the womb lining during the menstrual cycle, meaning that it grows and develops during the menstrual cycle and then breaks down and bleeds during the period.
Find out more about endometriosis
Endometriosis can be a painful disorder causing women to take days off during their period. Other symptoms can include:
- chronic fatigue
- painful, heavy or irregular periods
- problems opening bowels
These symptoms can be associated with a number of other disorders so a laparoscopy would need to be performed to confirm the diagnosis. A laparoscopy is a very small camera which is inserted into the abdomen to see if there is any endometriosis, during this procedure a small sample of tissue (a biopsy) may be taken as well to confirm the diagnosis.
Endometriosis has no cure as yet; however there are a number of methods that can be used to manage the symptoms. These include lifestyle changes, hormone management including the contraceptive pill and the mirena coil or surgery. All of the options would be discussed during the consultation.
Adhesions are scar tissue that has formed in areas where the body has been injured, including after surgery. Forming scar tissue is a natural process however after pelvic or abdominal surgery the scar tissue can cause the obstructions to the bowel or push the fallopian tubes out of place causing infertility.
Find out more about adhesions
Adhesions can be symptomless however when they cause issues there are often symptoms associated with the adhesions that indicate further problems. These include:
- severe cramping in the abdomen
- feeling sick or vomiting
- diarrhoea or constipation
- fertility problems
Adhesions can be caused by a variety of problems including:
- an infection, such as gastroenteritis
- sexually transmitted disease
The main method for diagnosis is a laparoscopy which is a camera inserted into the abdomen to investigate any possible adhesions. Treatment usually consists of a laparoscopic procedure to remove the adhesions. However if this is not a suitable option the consultant would go through alternative options.
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID is most common among sexually active women between 15 and 24 years old1. It is an infection which affects the womb, fallopian tubes or ovaries.
Find out more about pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease can sometimes present without any symptoms often however, there are symptoms which indicate a problem:
- pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis
- pain or discomfort within the pelvis during sex
- bleeding between periods and after sex
- unusual vaginal discharge, especially if yellow or green
If left untreated PID can affect fertility as the infection causes the lining of the fallopian tubes to swell, making it difficult for eggs to move through them to the womb.
PID is caused by infection in the vagina or neck of the womb (cervix) spreading to the reproductive organs higher up. The infection can be caused by many types of bacteria but is often a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Tests to diagnose pelvic inflammatory disease include blood tests, ultrasound and in severe cases a laparoscopy may be performed.
Often pelvic inflammatory disease can be treated through a course of antibiotics, however if it recurs or if it is particularly severe, surgical options may be explored.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled lumps found on a woman's ovaries. Often cysts are symptomless however if they are particularly large, blocking ovarian blood supplies or if it splits.
Find out more about ovarian cysts
Ovarian cyst symptoms can vary depending on their cause, however symptoms often include:
- pelvic pain
- a frequent need to urinate
- difficulties emptying bowels
- a change in periods, becoming lighter, heavier or irregular
Ovarian cysts can either be caused by the menstrual cycle, therefore they often temporary and harmless, or as part of abnormal cell growth.
Ovarian cysts can be identified through a variety of different tests, predominantly ultrasound scans or pelvic or vaginal examinations.
Often cysts are left to disappear in their own time and an ultrasound scan will normally be performed to confirm this. However if they are particularly large or have difficult symptoms associated with them then surgery may be performed to remove them.