Definition Endometriosis Melbourne Mothers
What is endometriosis?
- Endometriosis is a disease where abnormal tissue, similar to endometrial tissue, grows outside the uterus.
- When you have endometriosis you may have severe period pain, pain during intercourse, and you may have difficulties conceiving.
- It is a common condition with over 10% of women affected.
Ordinarily, endometrial tissue forms the lining inside your uterus. This is the tissue that allows an embryo to attach and start your pregnancy. When similar endometrial cells start growing outside the uterus, we call this endometriosis.
The causes of endometriosis are unknown. You will come across many theories but gynaecologists do not have absolute clarity as to why this condition occurs to one in nine women.
Symptoms Endometriosis Melbourne Mothers
Symptoms and diagnosis
When should you visit your gynaecologist?
- Lower abdominal pain or pelvic pain (mostly before your period starts and throughout your period).
- Changes in bowel or bladder function during your period.
- Pain emptying your bowels or bladder.
- Heavy periods.
- Pain during intercourse.
Not being able to conceive (infertility).
The symptoms of endometriosis can be quite variable. That’s why, on average, it takes over six years for women to seek help for endometriosis.
Laparoscopic surgery remains the only way to make a diagnosis of endometriosis, however, the ability to treat the endometriosis simultaneously remains an advantage.
Managing Endometriosis Melbourne Mothers
Managing and treating endometriosis
As mentioned above, laparoscopic surgery is the gold standard diagnostic and treatment tool. The abnormal tissue can be removed either by excision(cutting away) or ablation (burning away). At Melbourne Mothers, our gynaecologists much prefer excision as we feel this leads to better results and allows for specimens to be collected and studied under a microscope so that we not only can confirm the diagnosis but also can demonstrate distinct excision margins.
Treatment Endometriosis Melbourne Mothers
Melbourne Mothers and endometriosis treatment
The management and treatment remain some of the most challenging and at the same time rewarding aspects of our practice. I am moved when only weeks after treatment we see some of our most heavily afflicted patients in the community playing sports or shopping at the markets and otherwise enjoying their lives once again.
Professionally, endometriosis surgery is something that is very close to our hearts at Melbourne Mothers as it represents the combination of surgical skills that have been acquired over a long period of time at a number of different centres and in different countries. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our techniques and this kind of surgery inspires cutting-edge surgical innovation which we can put into practice almost immediately. For example, we are now using surgical incisions that are about one quarter the size of those used at some other centres.