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 !
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
- Laparoscopy (keyhole surgery)
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