Endometriosis is a non-cancerous condition where some of the tissue lining the uterus (womb) are deposited elsewhere in the body such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes and ligaments that support the uterus. The exact cause of this is unclear.
During menses, these areas of endometriosis can bleed. The bleeding irritates the surrounding areas, sometimes forming scar tissue or adhesions, resulting in pain.
Some women with endometriosis may not have any symptoms. The most common symptoms are heavy &/or irregular periods, painful periods or pain during sexual intercourse. Endometriosis may also affect a woman’s ability to conceive.
Your doctor can make a preliminary diagnosis after a consultation. The gold standard for diagnosis, however, is via laparoscopy (key-hole surgery). Whether you need to undergo this depends on your individual condition.
If your symptoms are mild, you may need minimal or no treatment. The aim of treatment is to relieve the symptoms and halt further progression. In patients who have difficulty conceiving, treatment is aimed to help restore fertility.
Treatment is either in the form of medication or surgery. Surgery can be reconstructive (removal of the areas of endometriosis) or non-conservative (removal of the womb &/or ovaries).