How well do you know endometriosis?
1 in 9 Australian women suffer from endometriosis so chances are, someone close to you has it. But can you separate fact from fiction when it comes to this common but often misunderstood disease?
The Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre at Epworth aims to deliver the best care for patients, while improving current diagnosis and treatment options and working towards a cure for endometriosis.
What is endometriosis?
1 in 9 Australian women suffer from endometriosis - a condition in which cells that are similar to the ones that line your uterus start growing in other areas of your body. These growths are more commonly known as endometrial implants or lesions. These lesions can cause inflammation and scarring, which leads to pain and other symptoms.
Medical professionals are still not sure exactly what causes endometriosis and it can take many years after symptoms start to achieve a diagnosis.
How do I know if I have endometriosis?
Endometriosis symptoms are similar to other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome - this can cause delays in diagnosis.
Some of the more common symptoms to look out for include:
- period pain (also known as dysmenorrhoea)
- ovulation pain (during the middle of the menstrual cycle) can include pain in the legs, buttocks, and thighs
- pelvic pain that occurs outside of your period
- pain during or after sex
- pain when using your bladder or bowels (usually during your period)
- heavy vaginal bleeding
- irregular bleeding (including bleeding between periods)
- bleeding for longer than normal
- feeling tired and lethargic
- diarrhoea or constipation
- needing to urinate more often
- blood in your stool or urine (in rare cases)
- mental health problems (such as anxiety or depression)
- nausea and vomiting.
The different methods that can help to diagnose endometriosis include pelvic exam, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and laparoscopy.
What are the treatment options for endometriosis?
The symptoms of endometriosis can be managed using a range of treatments that can include complementary therapies, exercise, diet and surgery. Hormone therapy, pain management, pelvic floor physiotherapy and nutrition are other common treatments for symptoms of endometriosis.
Learn more about endometriosis
Watch this animated explainer video to discover more about endometriosis and its symptoms.
What is endometriosis?