Endometriosis Awareness Week: What is endometriosis?

02 March 2018

Endometriosis is a condition where cells that usually line the womb (endometrium) can be found elsewhere, usually within the pelvis. It is a relatively common condition, affecting up to 15% of women in their reproductive years.

Women with endometriosis will often have pain, usually around the time of their menstrual period, although it can often occur at other times.

Mr Srin Amirchetty, a Consultant Gynaecologists who specialises in the treatment of endometriosis has the following advice.

Endometriosis can sometimes be a difficult condition to diagnose as the symptoms can vary considerably, often indicating a patient may have a possible condition affecting the bowel such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or a urinary tract infection.

Initial investigations such as blood tests and ultrasound scans usually show no sign of irregularities, so whilst history taking is suggestive, the only definitive way to diagnose the condition is by a laparoscopy (a camera is inserted into the abdomen under a general anaesthetic). It is best to have this done by a gynaecologist who specialises in this area and can possibly treat the endometriosis during the procedure- this could help ease the symptoms.

Hormonal treatment is also commonly used as endometriosis will usually become dormant when taking hormones like those found in contraceptive pills. Unfortunately we do not know what causes endometriosis or why some women develop the condition - so the treatments currently available will not cure it but can control the condition and  help alleviate symptoms. 

Endometriosis can also have an effect on fertility. For women experiencing symptoms while trying to conceive it is important to seek advice from a specialist as surgical treatment with a laparoscopy may help improve their fertility.

Mr Srin Amirchetty is a Consultant Gynaecologist practising at Spire Nottingham Hospital.

For more information on any of the treatments in this article or for an appointment at Spire Nottingham Hospital call 0115 937 7801 or email NTGbookings@spirehealthcare.com.

The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.

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