If you’re anything like me then you’ll probably have lots of questions about Endometriosis, so I’ve put together some frequently asked questions & answers. If you’ve got any questions that I’ve not added then send an email to me at hello@endobuddies.com and I will do my best to answer your question or point you in the right direction.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows elsewhere in the body (most commonly in the pelvic cavity). The diseased tissue acts similarly to the lining of the womb by building up and breaking down in line with your mentsrual cycle, but unlike the lining of the womb that produces your period the Endometriosis has nowhere to go which causes pain, inflammation and adhesions (scar tissue) which stick organs together. Endometriosis affects approximately 176 million people worldwide, that’s 1 in 10 people (people born with a female reproductive system).

What are the stages of Endometriosis?

First of all it is important that you know that the stage of Endometriosis that you have does not necessarily equate to the severity of the symptoms you have. Someone with stage 1 could have very bad symptoms & someone with stage 4 could have minimal symptoms, and vice versa.

  • Stage 1: Minimal – there are a few small, shallow Endo deposits & there is often little, to no, ahesions.
  • Stage 2: Mild – There are more Endo deposits which are deeper than Stage 1. There may be some adhesions.
  • Stage 3: Moderate – There are many deep deposits of Endo, thick adhesions (scar tissue) and ovarian cysts may also be present.
  • Stage 4: Severe, Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis (DIE) – There are widespread, deep deposits of Endo, cysts and dense adhesions.

Is there a cure for Endometriosis?

Sadly there is no cure for Endometriosis. Luckily there is now lots of research being done about Endometriosis, this is thanks to all of the wonderful people in the Endo community who are raising awareness, so we should be hopeful that one day we will find a cure.

What are the treatment options for Endometriosis?

The current treatment options available for Endometriosis aim to reduce the severity of symptoms and improve the quality of life for a person living with the condition.  Treatments, especially medication, are person centred – this means what works for one person might not work for another.

  • Laparoscopic surgery – As a treatment for endometriosis, surgery can be used to alleviate pain by removing the endometriosis, dividing adhesions or removing cysts. Surgery is also used to diagnose the disease and can be used to improve fertility.
  • Hormone treatment – These are used to stop the growth of Endometriosis – such as the Pill, The Mirena Coil & Prostap. Drugs that mimic menopause are called GnRH analogues – e.g. Prostap Injections. Drugs that mimic pregnancy (which stop the lining of the womb growing) – e.g. The Pill.
  • Pain relieving Medication – Paracetamol, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – such as Ibuprofen/Naproxen, Opiods – such as Codeine/Morphine, Anti-depressants – don’t be shocked if you get offered anti-depressants, they can be very useful in some cases as they may increase neurotransmitters in the spinal cord that reduce pain signals.

What is a Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is basically Key Hole Surgery. The surgeon will usually make 3 small incisions into your lower abdomen and use a Laparoscope to look inside your abdomen & pelvic cavity. Your abdomen will be filled with gas to make it easier for the surgeon to see everything. If Endo deposits are found they will either be burnt away (ablation) or cut out (excision).

Ablation vs Excision

Ablation is the removal of Endometriosis lesions by laser. Excision is where the lesion, and it’s roots are removed. The gold standard treatment for the removal of Endometriosis is Excision Surgery.

Can you live well with Endo?

It is possible to live well with Endo but it might be a case of trial and error to find out what works best for you. Some people focus on diet, exercise, self care and/or meditation. Just remember that it is your body and you know what works best for you. Some days may be better than others, some days you might want to sleep all day, some days you might go for a 10 mile hike….just do what feels right for you and your body.

Can I get pregnant if I have Endometriosis?

Yes you can! Approximately 50% of women with Endometriosis have fertility issues. It really depends on where Endometriosis has been found in your body and the amount found. There is no formal research that has confirmed that Endometriosis is a cause of infertility. If you are concerned then please speak to your GP.

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