What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is growth of endometrial tissue (inside lining of the womb) outside of the uterus, which can result in pelvic and period pain and fertility problems. Endometriosis is common and affect many women in Australia. It may be found in many places in the body but commonly affecting the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, small and large intestines.

How Does Endometriosis Affect Women?

It commonly causes pelvic, abdominal and period pain and may be mild or severe. The pattern of the pain may be cyclical; may worsen with periods and sometimes with sexual intercourse. When the endometriosis affects the bladder and the intestines, it may also cause problems and pain with passing urine and stools. The presence of endometriosis may also cause problems with fertility making it difficult for some women to conceive.

How Is Endometriosis Detected?

Physical examinations by an experienced Gynaecologist can detect some endometriosis. Ultrasound scans can detect the presence of endometriosis cysts such as endometriomas (chocolate cysts) in the ovaries but cannot detect smaller endometriotic lesions in the pelvis. A small key hole operation called diagnostic laparoscopy is the only definitive way endometriosis and its severity is diagnosed. Laparascopy (key hole surgery) can be both a diagnostic and therapeutic (treatment) day only surgical procedure.

How Do You Treat Endometriosis?

Endometriosis if suspected may be treated with some medication to alleviate the pain temporarily. More severe cases will ultimately need treatment by an experienced gynaecologist with surgical removal; of which the majority will be able to treated via a laparoscope (key hole surgery) as a 1 day in hospital procedure.