What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that usually lines the womb (endometrium) is found outside the womb, such as in the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Research is still being undertaken as to the cause of this condition with lots of strong theories. The main symptoms you will experience if you have Endometriosis are below, but if you haven’t yet been diagnosed then these symptoms can be related to a number of different conditions so always consult your doctor for tests if you are worried.
If you have this condition, you will likely have pain in your lower tummy or back, basically the pelvic area, that gets worse during your periods. You may find this pain is intense and stops you being able to go about your normal daily activities.
Pain during sex
You may experience pain during or after sex, due to the movements stretching the endometrial tissue – especially if it has grown low down in the uterus or behind the vagina. You may also find vaginal dryness is an issue.
Pain going to the toilet
Endometrial tissue can grow either inside or outside of the bladder or bowel, causing urgency, pain, irritation and occasional bleeding from your rectum or in your urine.
Periods can become heavy, irregular and painful – using lots of pads or tampons, or you may bleed through your clothing.
One of the main complications of endometriosis is difficulty getting pregnant, or infertility. Surgery to remove the problem tissues can help improve the chance to conceive naturally as these tissues can literally block the egg as it goes down the fallopian tube, but surgery as always comes with complications in itself including bleeding, infection or can even cause damage to the reproductive organs. You should speak to the surgeon about the likelihood of risks before choosing to go ahead with this kind of surgery. The NICE guidelines outline information on treatment including surgery.
Endometriosis UK offers support to women providing essential services and reliable information.
We have a team of fertility experts across Surrey, ready to support you in your fertility journey.