What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common condition in women, where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found outside the womb itself.
The condition is estimated to affect around two million women in the UK. Most of them are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 40.
Endometriosis is a long-term condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It often also causes pain in the lower abdomen (tummy), pelvis or lower back, as well as fertility problems. It may also contribute towards a lack of energy and depression.
Endometriosis can also cause pain during sex (dyspareunia). The triad of symptoms: painful periods and painful sex leading to infertility is typical of endometriosis. The best natural cure for endometriosis is pregnancy.
However, the symptoms of endometriosis can vary significantly and some women have few symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Endometriosis and pregnancy
One of the main complications of endometriosis is difficulty getting pregnant or problems with fertility.
Although surgery cannot guarantee that you will be able to get pregnant, there is good evidence that removing visible areas of endometriosis with a laser or an electric current during keyhole surgery can improve your chances of having a successful pregnancy.
It is important to know, however, that if you have endometriosis and you do become pregnant, the condition is unlikely to put your pregnancy at risk.
Pregnancy sometimes reduces the symptoms of endometriosis, although they often return once you have given birth and finished breastfeeding and the menstrual cycle returns to normal.
Currently, there is no known cure for endometriosis. However, the symptoms can often be managed with painkillers or hormone medication, which help prevent the condition from interfering with your daily life.
Surgery to remove patches of endometriosis tissue can sometimes be used to improve symptoms and fertility.
If you have symptoms of endometriosis, you should see your GP, so they can try to identify a cause and refer you to a specialist for a diagnosis if necessary.
Please do get in touch with us if you are concerned about endometriosis or for further information about IVF and your fertility. Find us online at http://hsfc.org.uk/ or give us a free, confidential call on 02031 312 640.