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Endometriosis

Gynaecology 

Endometriosis is a condition where the innermost layer of uterus, called the endometrium, grows in locations outside the uterus. The most common sites are in the pelvis and around the ovaries, but it has been found in more exotic locations such as the lung and brain, and has even been found in men !

These deposits may cause adhesions on the uterus. The uterus can become stuck to the ovaries, fallopian tubes and bowel. Although many patients experience extreme pain, some women with endometriosis do not experience any symptoms. Usually it causes pain around the time of your period but, for some women, the pain is almost constant.

Endometriosis symptoms and treatment Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Symptoms

The symptoms of endometriosis vary widely from woman to woman and the severity of symptoms is not necessarily related to the severity of the endometriosis. Symptoms depend on the extent and location of the endometrial implants and the affected structures. While some women have few or no symptoms, others experience severe and incapacitating pain that recurs each month for many years.

  • Period pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic and abdominal pain outside of menstruation
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant
  • Painful urination and bowel disturbance

How is Endometriosis diagnosed ?

  • Clinical history and examination
  • Ultrasound
  • Laparoscopy (keyhole surgery)

endometriosis_and_adhesion

Treatment

Treatment for endometriosis depends on a number of factors including:

  • The severity of symptoms
  • The extent of the endometriosis
  • The woman’s age
  • Her outcome requirements and goals (e.g. reduction in pain, improved lifestyle and improved fertility).

Drugs used to treat endometriosis include:

  • The oral contraceptive pill
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Hormonal treatments

Surgical options for endometriosis treatment include:

  • Laparoscopic surgery – keyhole surgery
  • Laparotomy – open surgery
  • Hysterectomy
Any treatment needs to be individualized to each patient bearing in mind the severity of symptoms, extent of endometriosis and the overall goals of treatment.
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