Endometriosis is a progressive, chronic condition that occurs when cells similar to those lining the uterus are found in other parts of the body. Endometriosis most commonly affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and tissue lining the pelvis.

The endometrial tissue acts the same as the lining of the uterus and breaks down with each menstrual cycle. With no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped and can cause cysts, pain and fertility issues.

According to the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor, there are important signs and symptoms to help diagnose endometriosis.

Symptoms

Although the exact cause of endometriosis is not certain, the primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain which is often associated with menstrual periods. Other common signs and symptoms include:

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
  • Pain during or after intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility.

Treatment

Treatment for endometriosis is dependent on a range of factors including a woman’s age, the severity of her symptoms and whether she wants to become pregnant.

Hormonal birth control pills are usually the first step in treatment for women who are not trying to become pregnant.

For women who are trying to become pregnant, treatment may involve gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnTH) agonist, which stops ovulation. This treatment is usually recommended for six months and pregnancy is possible once treatment has stopped.

Surgery is another treatment option for women whose symptoms are not relieved by medication. Laparoscopy and laparotomy are common forms of surgery to remove the endometrial tissue.

When to see a doctor

You should seek medical advice if:

  • Medicines used for period pain don’t help
  • Symptoms are getting worse
  • You are bedridden as a result of pain
  • Your ability to cope mentally decreases

House Call Doctor recommends you see your GP if you have signs and symptoms that may indicate endometriosis.