What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is present when the tissue that is like the lining of the uterus occurs outside this layer and causes pain and/or infertility. The lining layer is called the endometrium, and this is the layer of tissue that is shed each month with menstruation or where pregnancy settles and grows.
Symptoms of endometriosis
There are many different symptoms of endometriosis which include:
- Pain that stops you on or around your period.
- Pain on or around ovulation.
- Pain with bowel movements.
- Pain when you urinate.
- Pain in your pelvic region, lower back, and legs.
- Having trouble holding on when you have a full bladder or having to go frequently.
- Heavy bleeding or irregular bleeding.
If you have any of these symptoms, book an appointment with one of our female GPs today to discuss this.
How is the diagnosis made?
The only way that a diagnosis of endometriosis can be made is to undergo a laparoscopy and have a biopsy (tissue sample) taken. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure, performed under a general anaesthetic where a thin telescope is placed into the umbilicus (belly button). Tissue that is thought to contain endometriosis is removed at the time of the laparoscopy and sent to the pathologist to be viewed under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.
Sometimes your doctor may suggest that you have endometriosis because of your symptoms and/or clinical signs that they can feel on examination. The decision to have a diagnosis made by laparoscopy should be discussed with your doctor since this involves an invasive test. Remember to always be aware of the risks involved with a laparoscopy before having the procedure performed. You and your doctor may also decide to treat your symptoms with medications, this can mean you do not have to have a surgical procedure.
If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis and are looking to get back into exercising read QENDO’s post about exercising with endometriosis here.
If you have any symptoms of endometriosis, book an appointment with one of our female doctors today to discuss these and take steps to feeling better. Book online here: https://www.reydonstreet.com.au/billing-arrangements/bookings/