Endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the endometrium [the lining of the womb] is found outside the womb.
Common areas affected in the body are:
- ovaries and fallopian tubes
- peritoneum [lining of the inside of the abdomen]
- bladder and bowel
The condition is estimated to affect around 2 million women in the UK. Most of them are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 40. Endometriosis is rare in women who have been through the menopause.
The most common symptoms are:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Dysmenorrhoea [painful periods]
- Dyspareunia [pain during and after sex]
- Dysuria [pain during micturition]
- Dyschezia [pain during defecation]
Endometriosis is diagnosed by visual examination of the pelvis by a procedure calls laparoscopy. Sometimes biopsy is taken to confirm the presence of the tissue.
Endometriosis affects the well being of the women physically and emotionally. It can be treated by surgical and medical approach or a combination of both. Literature review [Cochrane Review] has showed that surgical treatment improves pain and spontaneous fertility rates.