This week is Endometriosis Awareness Week. This problem affects a large number of women in the UK, however not everyone can recognise the symptoms or knows what to do to get them treated.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is the name given to a condition in which cells normally found lining the uterus (the endometrium) are found outside of the uterus. These cells are affected in the same way as the endometrium and can bleed when a woman has her period. This can then cause inflammation and pain, which may need to be treated.
Possible symptoms of endometriosis
Endometriosis is a very common condition. Many women with endometriosis have no symptoms at all. If a woman with the condition experiences symptoms related to the endometriosis they are often related to the location of the endometriosis.
Symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Pelvic pain: Painful periods (Dysmenorrhoea), pain with sexual intercourse (Dyspareunia), chronic pelvic pain
- Other symptoms: Non-specific symptoms such as tiredness or specific symptoms related to unusual sites of the endometriosis
Getting treated for endometriosis
Mr Brinkmann, Consultant Gynaecologist at Spire Hospital Portsmouth, writes, “Management of endometriosis needs to be tailored to the individual. If there are no symptoms then reassurance on its own is likely to be the only treatment required. If the endometriosis is causing problems then treatment may be indicated. There are many treatment options available ranging from fairly simple medical interventions to laparoscopic surgery to complex major surgery sometimes involving the bowel or the bladder.”
A recent publication in Lancet Oncology has shown an association between endometriosis and certain types of ovarian cancer. However most women with endometriosis will not go on to develop ovarian cancer.
If you would like to find out more about the services offered by Spire Portsmouth Hospital, to make an appointment or to find out more about our Consultant Gynaecologists please follow the links on the page.