Endometriosis is present when the tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus occurs outside this layer and causes pain or infertility. The lining layer in the uterus is called the endometrium and this is the layer of tissue that is shed each month when you have your period. The layer consists of two sublayers – a base layer that is always present which is where the new tissue regenerates following your period, and a surface layer that is shed with each period.

The two main problems that endometriosis can cause are pain and trouble becoming pregnant. However, it is also possible to have endometriosis and not experience any pain or problems with your fertility.

Making a diagnosis

The only way to diagnose endometriosis is through a laparoscopy which involves having a tissue sample taken and viewing the tissue under a microscope. A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed under a general anaesthetic where a thin telescope is inserted through your belly button. This allows me to look inside your abdomen and assess the organs of the pelvis and abdomen. A laparoscopy can magnify the tissues and even small amounts of endometriosis are able to be seen. If I think some of your tissue contains endometriosis I will take a small sample and send it off for testing.

Treatment

The two types of treatment for endometriosis I would recommend is either medical treatment or surgical treatment. I may recommend one of them or a combination of both.

Medical treatments involve both hormonal and non-hormonal treatments. Hormonal treatments include the oral contraceptive pill and progestogens (one of the two main female hormones). Non-hormonal medications include pain relieving medications such as paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and strong pain relievers. These medications are designed to relieve the pain that can be associated with endometriosis rather than reducing the amount of endometriosis present.

If I recommend surgical treatment this will be performed by laparoscopy. A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure causing minimal scarring and pain, and enables increased access to the areas where endometriosis can grow. This is normally just a day procedure with you being able to go home later the same day.

When to seek help
As there are not always obvious symptoms it’s not always easy to know whether you might have endometriosis and when to seek expert advice. If you are experiencing painful periods, or unexplained pain in your abdomen or lower back, or are unsure why you’re not conceiving then it’s probably worth booking an appointment. We can discuss your specific situation in detail, make a diagnosis and from there chat about treatment options that are right for you.

Endometriosis is present when the tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus occurs outside this layer and causes pain or infertility. The lining layer in the womb is called the endometrium and this is the layer of tissue that is shed each month with your period. The layer consists of two sublayers – a base layer that is always present which is where the new tissue regenerates following your period, and a surface layer that is shed with each period.

The two main problems that endometriosis can cause are pain and trouble becoming pregnant. However, it is also possible to have endometriosis and not experience any pain or problems with your fertility.

Making a diagnosis

The only way to diagnose endometriosis is through a laparoscopy which involves having a tissue sample taken and viewing the tissue under a microscope. A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed under a general anaesthetic where a thin telescope is inserted through your belly button. This allows me to look inside your abdomen and assess the organs of the pelvis and abdomen. A laparoscopy can magnify the tissues and even small amounts of endometriosis are able to be seen. If I think some of your tissue contains endometriosis I will take a small sample and send it off for testing.

Treatment

The two types of treatment for endometriosis I would recommend is either medical treatment or surgical treatment. I may recommend one of them or a combination of both.

Medical treatments involve both hormonal and non-hormonal treatments. Hormonal treatments include the oral contraceptive pill and progestogens (one of the two main female hormones). Non-hormonal medications include pain relieving medications such as paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and strong pain relievers. These medications are designed to relieve the pain that can be associated with endometriosis rather than reducing the amount of endometriosis present.

If I recommend surgical treatment this will be performed by laparoscopy. A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure causing minimal scarring and pain, and enables increased access to the areas where endometriosis can grow. This is normally just a day procedure with you being able to go home later the same day.