Insights: Endometriosis

1. What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can lead to inflammation, scarring and nodules. It can affect up to 10% of women.

On average it takes 8 years from onset of symptoms to diagnose Endometriosis.

2. Are Endometriosis and PCOS related?

Women can have both Endometriosis and PCOS but its unknown if they’re related. Endometriosis is more common in leaner women and PCOS women are often overweight. One study 70% of women with PCOS and persistent infertility had Endometriosis.

3. How is Endometriosi diagnosed?

With a thorough history and a pelvic ultrasound Endometriosis can be suspected. Laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) is the only way a definite diagnosis can be made.

4. What are the symptoms of Endometriosis?

  • Painful periods – pain and cramping may begin before the period and extend for several days into it.
  • Heavy and irregular bleeding
  • Pain with or after intercourse
  • Pain with urination or bowel movements during the menstrual period
  • Endometriosis effects people differently and symptoms can slowly progress

5. What are the risk factors for Endometriosis?

The cause is unknown but retrograde menstruation back through the fallopian tubes is likely. There is a hereditary component as it is 7 to 10 times more likely with a family history.

6. Does Endometriosis effect fertility?

30% of women with Endometriosis are more likely to be infertile. 30-50% of infertile women have Endometriosis The more severe the endometriosis the greater the effect on fertility

7. Is Endometriosis curable?

There is no specific prevention nor is it curable. Endometriosis can be treated with hormone therapy and/or excisional surgery.