endometriosis

Endometriosis


The endometrium is the mucous membrane that normally lines the inside of the uterus. During the menstrual cycle, it responds to hormones by thickening with blood vessels in preparation for pregnancy. Once this does not occur, it breaks down and becomes your period.

What Causes Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus.

It can grow on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, on the external surface of the uterus, and even the rectum, intestines, and urinary organs. The areas where the endometrium is growing abnormally are called implants. The implants respond to hormones in the same way that the uterine lining does by thickening, breaking down, and shedding. Since this occurs outside the uterus, the tissue can become inflamed, irritated, and scarred. The areas of scar tissue are called adhesions& adhesions can cause organs to stick together, which can be painful during and just before your period. Endometriosis is fairly common, affecting around 10 percent of women in their childbearing years with most patients diagnosed between the ages of 30-40.


What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?

Endometriosis usually feels like severe PMS symptoms, such as:

  • Chronic pelvic cramping, especially before and during your period
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Painful intercourse
  • Painful bowel movements or urination (if implants are affecting these organs)

Endometriosis can also cause fertility problems. It’s estimated that around 40 percent of women who have difficulty getting pregnant suffer from endometriosis.Inflammation of the ovaries and fallopian tubes may hurt the sperm or egg, and adhesions may cause the fallopian tubes to stick together and block the egg’s path to the uterus. Our professional team at London Obs & Gynae Clinic will take over your care & treatment & are always on hand to discuss any concerns you have.


Diagnosing Endometriosis

If you are experiencing pain and heavy bleeding please make an appointment @ London Obs & Gynae Clinic on 020 7224 4268. At your appointment we will review your medical history and perform a physical and pelvic screen. The only way to diagnose endometriosis with certainty is to take a look at your pelvic organs with surgery. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a thin, flexible, lighted instrument is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen. Our doctor may take a biopsy of the tissue for further testing.


Endometriosis Treatment

There are various treatments available for endometriosis which we will discuss with you at your consultation. Usually the best course of treatment is based on the severity of your symptoms and your plans to bear children in the future.


Pain Medication

Pain and cramping associated with endometriosis can be managed with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which may be purchased over-the-counter or by prescription-strength medications which your London Obs & Gynae Consultant can give.


Hormonal therapies

Many women successfully treat endometriosis with birth control pills, GnRH agonists, and progestin medications.These treatments will not cure endometriosis or remove the existing tissue but can reduce the growth of new tissue and prevent adhesions from forming. Ask us for more details.


Surgery

Women trying to become pregnant might elect to have their endometrial implants surgically treated. This can break up scarring and improve fertility whilst reducing pain in some cases however some patients report that their pain has returned within a few years after the procedure. Combining surgery with hormone therapies are recommended to combat both pain and fertility problems.


Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. Removing the ovaries significantly reduces the chance that the pain will return post-surgery. A hysterectomy is typically only recommended as a last resort as after the procedure you will no longer have a period or conceive again.

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