What is endometriosis ?

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Why Endometriosis is a Problem?

Endometriosis is a common disease affecting mostly women of reproductive age, starting from onset of the menstruation till the menopause. One in ten women in the world and 50% of infertile women are suffering from the disease which can cause lots of suffering in some, and in other can be almost free of symptoms. 

176 million women are affected by endometriosis worldwide.

Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition. 

According to the recent research, it takes on the average 7.5 years from onset of symptoms to the diagnosis. 

This is to do perhaps with lack of awareness of endometriosis in the population in general and within the medical profession. Endometriosis can affect every aspect of women’s health including sex life, ability to get pregnant, energy levels, emotional state, and quality of life in general. 

If endometriosis is suspected and the patient is referred to our clinic, we aim to perform extensive investigations and reach the diagnosis within days. Once the diagnosis is confirmed we offer our patients multiple options for treatment taking into consideration individual circumstances and symptoms. 

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Nature of the disease

Endometriosis is a disease where cells similar to those of the lining of the womb (endometrium) are found outside the lining of the uterus i.e elsewhere in the pelvis. These cells are influenced by the fluctuation of sex hormones in the body and “menstruate“once a month, but the blood can’t leave the body in a usual way. This “menstrual blood” is irritating the tissue in the pelvis, creating inflammation, scarring and pain. It can sometimes infiltrate the bowel, the bladder, and the ureter, block the fallopian tubes and invade the muscle of the womb. While some women have no symptoms, others can suffer effects like bowel and bladder problems, pelvic pain throughout the cycle, pain during sex and difficulty getting pregnant. Low mood and chronic tiredness are also very typical symptoms of endometriosis.  

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Diagnosing endometriosis

To find out whether you have endometriosis, we carry out a detailed clinical assessment of your symptoms, gynaecological examination by a consultant gynaecologist, high resolution ultrasound and MRI scans of your pelvis and possibly a laparoscopy, the gold standard diagnostic procedure which involves inserting a tiny 5 mm ultra-high definition endoscopic camera into your pelvis through a small cut in the umbilicus under general anaesthetic. Depending on the severity of endometriosis, further investigations may focus on your bladder, bowel and other organs which might be affected by disease. If fertility is required, full assessment of ovarian hormonal function, tubal patency and ovarian reserve is offered alongside with other investigations.