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Endometriosis

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a common disease affecting the female reproductive system.  It occurs when endometrial tissue (the lining of the uterus) grows in areas of the body outside the uterus.  

Endometriosis most commonly affects the reproductive organs (ovaries, fallopian tubes and external surfaces of the uterus), it is frequently found to affect the bladder and bowel and has also been found as far away as the lungs and brain!

What are the causes of Endometriosis?

The exact causes of endometriosis are still not fully understood; however, it is believed that endometriosis occurs because of endometrial tissue from the uterus moving into the fallopian tube and out into the pelvic area.  It is thought that these tissue fragments then grow into the surrounding pelvic tissue and organs. 

Because these fragments are made of the same tissue as the endometrium, they also respond to the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle and, therefore, “bleed”.  While menstrual blood exits the body via a period, this blood has nowhere to exit, causing the affected areas to become inflamed and irritated.  The continual release of blood can contribute to the formation of scar tissue, called adhesions, which further exacerbate the symptoms. 

What are the symptoms of Endometriosis? 

Endometriosis affects individuals very differently, and the severity of your symptoms does not necessarily relate to the severity of your disease, with some patients not experiencing any symptoms at all. 

Common symptoms of endometriosis include: 

  • Fatigue, particularly around the time of your period. 
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain before and during a period, during or after sex or when going to the toilet, which may radiate into your lower limbs and may get worse over time. 
  • Heavy periods and/or irregular bleeding, sometimes with clots.
  • Bleeding from the bladder or bowel, or changes in urination or bowel movements. 
  • Abdominal bloating, with or without pain.
  • Infertility.

If you have any questions about endometriosis, or believe you may be suffering from these symptoms, please contact Fertility North so that we can arrange for you to see one of our doctors. 

How can Fertility North help with your Endometriosis? 

Fertility North is very proud to be a specialist Endometriosis Treatment Centre. Our doctors specialise in its diagnosis and have many years of extensive experience in its treatment. 

Diagnosis

Whilst endometriosis may be indicated after an initial consultation and physical examination, a confirmed diagnosis can only be made during a laparoscopya surgical procedure during which a tiny camera is inserted through the skin of the abdomen through a pair of very small incisions to enable the specialist to see inside the abdominal cavity.  A small biopsy of tissue is then taken and analysed by a pathology laboratory to confirm the diagnosis. 

Treatment

Once endometriosis has been diagnosed and the extent of the disease determined, your Doctor will formulate the most effective course of treatment for you.  This may include medication, surgery or a combination of both.   

Endometriosis Australia offer a wealth of general information regarding endometriosis treatments on their website.   

However, for a personalised assessment and treatment specific to your individual circumstances, please contact our friendly Administration staff.