Endometriosis is a common gynaecological problem affecting women of reproductive age. It occurs when the tissues lining the inside of the uterus, known as endometrium starts growing on surfaces of other organs in the pelvis. Endometrium may grow on ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer surface of uterus, pelvic cavity lining, vagina, cervix, vulva, bladder or rectum. Women may experience painful cramps in the lower abdomen, back or in the pelvis during menstruation, heavy menstrual bleeding, painful bowel movements or urination and infertility.
The exact cause for the endometriosis is not known, but one theory is that it may inherited through genes that run in families. Women with a defect in the immune system, hormonal imbalance, or as a complication of other surgeries may develop endometriosis.
Dr Sgroi will ask you about general health, your symptoms and perform pelvic examination to feel for the presence of large cysts or scars. An ultrasound scan may also be performed to look for ovarian cysts.
There are several treatment options available to minimise the pain as well as control heavy bleeding.
Pain Medication: Over the counter pain relievers may be helpful for mild pain.Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be suggested in cases of severe pain.
Hormone Treatment: Hormone treatment is recommended if there is a small growth and mild pain. Hormonal preparations can be taken in the form of pills, shots, and nasal sprays. Birth control pills help to decrease the amount of menstrual bleeding.
Surgery: Surgery is an option for women having multiple growths, severe pain, or fertility problems.
Laparoscopy: During this key-hole surgery, growths and scar tissue are removed. This is a minimally invasive technique and does not harm the healthy tissues. Often fertility improves after laparoscopic removal of endometriosis.
Hysterectomy: This is very rarely done and limited to women who no longer or do not wish to have children. It is a surgery that involves removal of the uterus. This procedure is done when there is severe damage to the uterus and where pain can not be controlled by any other means.