Endometriosis is a common gynaecological condition affecting around 10% of women globally. It occurs when tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrium) develops outside the uterus, instead growing on the ovaries, bowel, fallopian tubes, tissues lining in the pelvis and outside surface of the uterus.
Research shows that in Singapore, around 1 out of 10 women suffer from endometriosis. It is also considered as a common factor of female infertility.
What Are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
Usually, symptoms of endometriosis vary from mild to severe, but it is not a clear indication of the staging of the condition. Signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Severe pelvic pain
- Painful period
- Extreme lower back pain
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Discomforting bowel movements
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Blood in the urine or stool
Who Is at Risk of Having Endometriosis?
Women in their child-bearing years have a higher possibility of developing endometriosis, along with other factors such as:
- Someone who has given birth
- Family has history of endometriosis
- Having gynaecological problems
- Being of Asian or Caucasian descent
How Is Endometriosis Treated?
While there is no cure for endometriosis thus far, doctors may recommend effective treatments to help reduce the symptoms and manage complications. Treatment can be through medication or surgery, depending on the patient’s condition, age and her desire to get pregnant.
- Pain Medication – If symptoms are mild, the doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications to help lessen the pain such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Hormonal Treatment – The doctor may also suggest hormonal therapy or birth control pills to help ease the pain and prevent the development of endometrial tissue.
- Surgery – A doctor may perform a surgery like hysterectomy to remove endometrial tissue; and in some serious cases may also remove the uterus and ovaries.