Endometriosis is a common condition in which small pieces of the womb lining are found outside the womb. Find out what the symptoms and treatment options are, who is affected by it and how to cope with the pain.

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Transcript of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is where there are cells similar to those lining the womb

outside the womb, such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes,

ligaments inside the tummy.

Those cells then act as they would within the womb.

So on a monthly basis, they will kind of grow.

But rather than being able to shed, as you would during a period,

then the blood has nowhere else to go.

How the cells get to be where they're not meant to be, we don't know.

I call it endo-pain!

It's a kind of intense, dragging, constant feeling...

..that just exhausts you.

Any woman who's having periods, so from teenage to the menopause,

can have endometriosis.

When I came off the pill, then the symptoms got worse.

Sex was very painful and periods continue to be painful.

Endometriosis symptoms are always related to the period cycle.

They can be just lower tummy pain, like a period pain.

They can be pain on passing water,

pain up in your bottom when you open your bowels,

and pain on intercourse.

(Jo) It seems to be very difficult to identify.

I think that's why there are so many problems with diagnosis.

(Caroline) If you think you might have the symptoms of endometriosis,

the first place to start is with your GP.

(Jo) Try and describe the symptoms using a pain diary or a symptom diary.

Take that to the doctors. Do as much research as you can.

Endometriosis is primarily managed by pain relief, so your normal painkillers.

My advice would be to take your painkillers regularly

while you've got the pain.

Something simple, like Paracetamol.

I've started doing yoga for relaxation which does help.

If you can face getting your trainers on to get out of the door,

exercise is positively good.

There are lots of theories about dietary things that you can do.

Good diet, lots of fibre, lots of water.

It's a very fine line to balance work and life and pain.

(Caroline) Treatment options available to someone...

The most easy one to go on to is the combined contraceptive pill,

as effective as some of the stronger treatments for endometriosis,

and very good at helping the pain.

And you can come to an operation later to make a formal diagnosis.

My general advice would be save operations for last.

The laparoscopy operations are done as a keyhole surgery.

And they go in and, using tools, they look inside

and find where the endometriosis might be growing.

And they then treat it using different surgical techniques.

Endometriosis is not necessarily linked with difficulty having children.

Most women with endometriosis will get pregnant without any problem.

The worst forms of endometriosis, the most severe type,

causes adhesions, for everything to stick together in the tummy,

and that can cause difficulty getting pregnant.

(Jo) I think you always have to have hope with it.

And I've heard stories of women who've had severe endometriosis

who've gone through very difficult treatments

and who have had children.

(Caroline) There is lots of help out there: your GP, support groups.

Endometriosis UK has a nationwide network of volunteer support groups

that you can get help from.

The source of the greatest information for me was the Endometriosis UK charity

which offers free information and support.

And they have information packs that they send out.


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