An overview of common gynaecological conditions
Click below to learn more about each gynaecological condition.
Because this tissue is the same as the cells that line the womb, it reacts in a similar way during the menstrual cycle — it thickens, then breaks down and bleeds. However, this blood does not have a way of leaving the body, so it becomes trapped, leading to inflammation and pain. Surrounding tissue can also become irritated, which may lead to scar tissue.
There is no cure for endometriosis. However, there are a range of treatments that can help you to manage the symptoms and endometriosis pain.
However, none of these theories fully explain why women develop endometriosis.
During the examination, the doctor will ask you about your symptoms and may perform a pelvic examination. They may refer you to a gynaecologist for some further tests, including:
Ultrasound scan: This may be a transvaginal ultrasound or an abdominal ultrasound. Both can help your doctor identify cysts that are associated with endometriosis.
Laparoscopy: This is a surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to look inside your body using an instrument called a laparoscope. It allows the surgeon to identify endometriosis tissue and is the only way to be certain that endometriosis is causing the symptoms.
Certain treatments for endometriosis may improve your chance of becoming pregnant, but there is no guarantee.
If the endometriosis occurs in or near the ovaries then some women may develop adhesions. These are areas where endometriosis tissue has joined different organs together.
Sometimes ovarian cysts may develop. These are fluid-filled cysts that grow in the ovaries. If they grow to a large size then they can become very painful.
Endometriosis can also affect the bladder or bowel. You doctor may refer you to a specialist if these two organs are affected. In both cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to treat these conditions.
Endometriosis can be a difficult condition to deal with, both physically and emotionally, so it is advisable to seek out help from a support group.
The first course of action is to treat the pain. Anti-inflammatories, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can be taken to see if they reduce pain.
Your doctor may suggest hormone treatment to limit or stop your body from producing oestrogen. This can reduce the amount of endometriosis tissue that the body produces, which can reduce some of the symptoms.
The main hormone treatments include:
Hormone treatments can help relieve the milder symptoms associated with endometriosis. The main benefit is that they can be used over long periods of time.
Hormone treatments do carry some side effects, including:
However, the main side effect of hormone treatments is that they can reduce your chance of becoming pregnant.
A laparoscopy, which is more commonly known as keyhole surgery, involves making a small cut into the abdomen. This allows the surgeon to insert a device called a laparoscope. This is a small flexible tube that contains a camera, which sends images to a monitor.
Then using a variety of tools, the surgeon can either destroy or remove the endometriosis tissue. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic.
Laparoscopic surgery is the most common surgical procedure used to treat endometriosis symptoms.
The other surgical option is a hysterectomy, which is a major operation that will have a significant impact on your body.
During this surgical procedure, the womb (uterus) is removed. You will only be offered this option if other treatments have not worked and you have decided not to have any more children.
Hysterectomies cannot be reversed and, though unlikely, endometriosis symptoms could return after the operation.
They will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and talk with you about the best treatment options for your specific situation.
An appointment with an experienced Consultant at your nearest BMI hospital can be helpful. They will assess and diagnose the cause of your symptoms and then discuss any suitable treatment options for your specific situation. To schedule your visit, book a specialist appointment online today.
Wellbeing of Women help improve pregnancy care, IVF outcomes and the risk of childbirth complications for women through their ground-breaking research. Women's Health Matters 2021 provides a comprehensive analysis of ten of the most common gynaecological conditions misdiagnosed or misunderstood for years at a time. Infertility, debilitating chronic pain, the onset of associated conditions and severe depression are common effects of living with a gynaecological condition without access to the right care. Yet despite this, education and awareness around women’s health is lacking.
Millions of women in the UK continue to suffer in silence while waiting for a diagnosis, unsure of how best to manage their pain or seek help.
The aim of this Women's Health Matters is to tackle taboos in women's health by sharing the hard-hitting stories of other women living with these conditions, as well as: