Overview

Endometriosis mainly affects girls and women of childbearing age. It is a recognized cause of infertility.1 Endometriosis is a common cause of severe, cyclic, pelvic or abdominal pain that are severe in a significant proportion of patients.1

How do you recognise the Symptoms?

The symptoms of endometriosis can vary. Some women are badly affected, while others might not experience any noticeable symptoms.

The main symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • Pain in lower abdomen or back (pelvic pain) – which is usually worse during period
  • Period pain that stops women doing their normal activities
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Pain when peeing or pooing during period
  • Feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in pee or stools during period
  • Difficulty getting pregnant1

What happens next?

You will be asked about your symptoms and may undergo an abdominal or vaginal examination.

Further tests may include:

  • Ultrasound scan
  • Laparoscopy (a small tube with a camera inserted through a small incision in the abdominal skin to investigate any endometriosis tissue)

How is Endometriosis treated?

There’s currently no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatments that can help ease and control the symptoms.

Treatment includes:

  • Painkillers – such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
  • Hormone medicines and contraceptives – including the combined pill, the contraceptive patch, an intrauterine system (IUS), and medicines called gonadotrophinreleasing hormone (GnRH) analogues.
  • All these medications are prescribed with the specific aim to lead the patient to a state of amenorrhea (absence of menses)
  • Surgery to cut away or destroy patches of endometriosis tissue or to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis. In some cases, a radical Hysterectomy is needed even in premenopausal patients in order to achieve an adequate control of the symptoms.
  • For those patients who suffer endometriosis and are wishing to be pregnant, IVF is often the only way to succeed.1
  • 1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/endometriosis