What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that affects tissue growth. Tissues similar to the lining of the womb usually start to grow in other places, such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Common in women aged 30-40, but can affect women of any age.

Endometriosis is a long-lasting condition that can have a significant effect on your life, but thankfully, there are treatments that can help ease the symptoms of the condition.

What Are The Symptoms Of Endometriosis?

There are many varying symptoms of endometriosis. Some women can be affected by this condition more severely than others.

The most common symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • Lower pelvic pain that is worse during your period

  • period pain that stops you from doing your normal activities

  • Painful intercourse

  • Pain when peeing or passing stools during your period

  • Nausea, constipation, diarrhoea or blood in your pee during your period

  • Difficulty conceiving 

  • You may also experience heavy periods.

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatment methods that can help ease the symptoms that include:

  • Over the counter painkillers – such as ibuprofen or paracetamol

  • Contraceptives and hormone medicines including the combined pill, the contraceptive patch, an intrauterine system (IUS), and medicines called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues.

  • Minor surgery that cuts away patches of endometriosis tissue

  • An operation to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis – such as surgery to remove the womb (hysterectomy)

Your doctor will discuss all of the available options, confidentially with you. Sometimes, doctors may suggest delaying treatment immediately to see if the symptoms improve on their own.

What are the 4 stages of endometriosis?

Endometriosis is segmented into one of four stages (I-minimal, II-mild, III-moderate, and IV-severe) the stages depend upon the exact location, extent, and depth of the endometriosis implants as well as the presence and severity of scar tissue and the presence and size of endometrial implants in the ovaries.

In most cases, endometriosis is classified as minimal or mild, which means there are superficial implants and mild scarring. Moderate and severe endometriosis typically result in cysts and more severe scarring. The stage of endometriosis is not related to the degree of symptoms a woman experiences, but infertility is common with stage IV endometriosis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Endometriosis, you should contact your GP at your earliest convenience. They will conduct a series of examinations that will determine the best course of action. Your GP visit may result in a referral where a more-in-depth examination can take place. But remember, there is nothing to worry about - the trained staff are there to look after you and offer insightful advice.