What is endometriosis?
Endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. Endometriosis is when that type of tissue begins to grow outside the uterus.
The cells in endometrium are unique and work to create a space for a fertilised embryo to grow, which means they are perfect for inside the uterus. Unfortunately, when they grow outside the uterus, it can cause inflammation, scarring, other health issues and pain.
Symptoms of endometriosis
Some people who have endometriosis have no symptoms at all, while others have very severe symptoms affecting their quality of life. Severity of symptoms may not reflect how severe the endometriosis is so, if you have even mild symptoms or concerns, always talk to your doctor.
Endometriosis symptoms can include:
- Painful periods
- Pain during and after sex
- Pain not related to regular menstrual cycle pain
- Pain when using the toilet, especially during your period
- Irregular periods
- Challenges falling pregnant
Causes of endometriosis
Genes can play a role in who gets endometriosis and who doesn’t. It seems to run in families (for example, if your mother or sister has endometriosis, you are more likely to have it) but doctors do not know exactly why.
There are multiple theories as to how endometriosis starts, but one of the most commonly accepted ones is called retrograde menstruation. This happens when you have your period and a small amount of menstrual blood flows backwards up your fallopian tubes. Endometrial cells then attach to the pelvic and abdominal cavities and begin to multiply.
Treatment for endometriosis will vary depending on each person’s situation. This can range from conservative management (no immediate treatment) through to surgery.
- Conservative management, which might suit someone who is approaching menopause or who has very minimal pain and side effects
- Pain relief treatment, which treats the pain only
- Hormonal treatment, which can involve taking tablets or injections of hormones, or insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Surgery, including laparoscopy to remove endometriosis tissue, and for patients with severe symptoms that are not resolved by medical or other surgical treatment a hysterectomy to remove the uterus and or an oophorectomy to remove the ovaries may be considered.
- Physiotherapists can help with bladder and bowl problems and psychologists can help you to manage chronic pain.
Frances Perry House Pelvic Pain Service
The Frances Perry House Pelvic Pain Service has been developed to provide high quality care to women with pelvic pain from the first presentation, through assessment and treatment of the initial cause of the pain, to ongoing management of pelvic pain.
The Pelvic Pain Service is provided by a multidisciplinary team of specialists ensuring that women receive comprehensive and high-quality woman-centred care covering both physical and emotional wellbeing.
The multidisciplinary team consists of gynaecologists, a pain specialist, psychologist and physiotherapists. Each member of the team will perform a full assessment of your pain and develop an individual treatment plan aimed at helping to manage pelvic pain.
Specialist Care at Frances Perry House
Frances Perry House is home to a team of experienced and highly reputable gynaecologists with experience in a range of women's health issues, including endometriosis and endometriosis treatment.
To see a gynaecologist at Frances Perry House please request a referral from your GP. You can choose a specialist using our specialist search tool.