Endometriosis

The lining of the uterus that is shed during menstruation is called the endometrium. Sometimes the endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, leading to a condition called endometriosis.
Endometriosis tends to cause pain before and during a menstrual period, typically causes heavy periods, and often gives rise to pain during sexual intercourse. It is also commonly linked with chronic pelvic pain (endometriosis is present in 75% of women with chronic pelvic pain). Other conditions that can cause pelvic pain include fibroids, irritable bowel syndrome or pelvic congestion syndrome.

Endometrial tissue responds to hormonal changes; this allows the womb lining to prepare for a pregnancy and then to shed if an egg is not fertilised. Endometrial tissue outside the uterus responds to the normal cyclical hormonal changes and will grow and shed in the same way as the normal lining of the uterus during the menstrual cycle. Over a long period of time this process can cause adhesions (scar tissue that binds organs together). In some cases walled off cysts or endometrioma may form.

Typically the symptoms of endometriosis worsen overtime; the good news is that early treatment may help keep the condition from getting worse.


Investigating & treating endometriosis

Yinka will take a full medical history, and conduct a physical examination. A symptom chart documenting the pattern of your symptoms will be useful. In addition, a pelvic ultrasound scan allowing visualisation of the uterus will help with an accurate diagnosis.  If endometrial nodules are seen or further inspection is required, a laparoscopy will allow a definitive diagnosis.
Treatment for endometriosis depends on the extent and location of the endometriosis and the symptoms. It may be medical or surgical. The goal of treatment is to alleviate symptoms and the management strategy will be tailor-made to meet your personal situation.


 
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