What Is Endometriosis?

One common cause of pelvic pain, painful periods, as well as painful sex and painful bowel movements is endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition where cells normally found in the lining of the uterus / womb grow elsewhere in the body e.g. in the fallopian tubes, ovaries or along the pelvis.  These cells, however, still behave as though they were in the womb, and break down as menstruation. This leads to the chronic pain, cramps, heavy periods, and other symptoms that characterise the condition.

The exact causes of the condition aren’t known, although there are several different theories.

Not Just Physical

Endometriosis can affect every area of sufferers’ lives.  Trying to manage and live with the painful symptoms of the condition, and in many cases, the struggle to get a diagnosis can also lead to psychological and social problems for many sufferers, including depression and anxiety.

One survey of the members of the charity Endometriosis UK even found that 25 per cent had considered suicide because of the condition.

Challenges

Endometriosis is a relatively common condition among women of reproductive age.  For example, in the US, surveys show that one in ten women suffer from it, and here in the UK around 2 million women suffer from it. It is thought that as many as 176 million women worldwide suffer from the condition.

Despite it being common, women with the condition seem to face a number of challenges including:This condition is not always prioritized, understood, or taken as seriously as it should be.  This means that it is not uncommon for women to suffer the symptoms of the condition for 10 years before finally being diagnosed.

This condition is not always prioritized, understood, or taken as seriously as it should be.  This means that it is not uncommon for women to suffer the symptoms of the condition for 10 years before finally being diagnosed.

Despite research efforts, the causes of the condition are elusive and there are no clear biomarkers for endometriosis.

Rather than being told that they should seek medical help for the condition, sufferers are often led to believe that the symptoms are simply part of being a woman and are to be endured.

Meeting The Challenges

Even though there is no single cure for the condition (there are a number of different medical and surgical options), getting a diagnosis can enable women to access help that can enable them to find ways to manage their condition, and thereby improve their quality of life.

Diagnosing

The fact that endometriosis can often not be picked up on ultrasound scans means that a laparoscopy is often the route that leads to diagnosis for many women.

Specialist Interest

I have developed a specialist interest in pelvic pain and in particular severe endometriosis and work closely with Mr Romi Navaratnam, a Consultant Surgeon. He is a minimal access surgeon.  I also work closely with Mr Vik Khullar, a consultant Urogynaecologist. Mr Khullar is a world authority on bladder function and treatment.

I am trained to carry out and treat major gynaecological conditions, such as endometriosis and pelvic pain.  For a full range of my services please view Outpatient Services or Surgical Procedures or contact me via my contact page here or ring my personal assistant on 020 3318 0263.