Endometriosis affects approximately 10% of reproductive age females globally, that’s 176 million women worldwide, and is the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can cause severe pain in the pelvis and make it harder for a woman to get pregnant. The condition can start at a person’s first menstrual period and last until menopause.
The cause of endometriosis is unknown. There is no known way to prevent it and there is no cure, however its symptoms can be treated with medicines and in some cases, surgery.
Common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Heavy periods
- Pain in the lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
- Period pain that stops you doing normal activities
- Pain during or after sex
- Pain when peeing or passing a stool during your period
- Feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your urine or stools during your period
- Difficulty getting pregnant
When to see a GP
You should seek medical help if you have the symptoms associated with the condition, especially if they are impacting your daily life.
Your GP will ask about your symptoms and they may offer the following tests:
- A vaginal or rectal examination
- An ultrasound scan
- You may be referred to a gynaecologist for further tests which could include a laparoscopy or MRI scan
If you need treatment, the type you are offered will depend on the severity of your symptoms and whether or not you want to become pregnant in the future. A number of treatments can help to manage your symptoms, but they don’t always work in the long term.
Your doctor will discuss the various options with you, and help you decide which treatment is best.
- Hormone medicines and contraceptives including the combined pill, patch, intrauterine system and implant
- Surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue
- Surgery to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis such as surgery to remove part of your colon, appendix or womb
Dr Laura Fricker, is the lead Women’s Health Specialist at Private GP Extra. To book an appointment with Dr Fricker, please call 0161 428 4464 or visit https://www.privategpextra.com/contact-us/