Endometriosis is a condition that affects women of reproductive age, and is associated with both pelvic pain and infertility. If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis, it means that the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus - the endometrium - is growing outside your uterus; it could also involve your ovaries, bowels and the tissue that lines the pelvis. However, the displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would: that is it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. And because it has no way to exit the body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts may form. In some women, endometriosis grows deep beneath the peritoneal lining, such as in the area between the vagina and the rectum. These cases are often associated with more severe pain, but not necessarily more severe infertility.
Although you or your physician may suspect endometriosis based on your symptoms, a laparoscopic examination is the only way to make a definitive diagnosis.
Endometriosis is treated with medication or surgery, depending on how severe it is. Birth control pills are often prescribed to help to relieve pelvic pain. Women whose symptoms continue despite the pill should consider laparoscopic surgery, which is then followed up with medication to suppress the hormones that cause this painful condition.
You should also be aware that endometriosis is a recurrent condition, and so if you are planning to conceive, you must start your fertility treatments as soon as possible after the surgical period and the course of suppression medication.
“Endometriosis is challenging no doubt, but with the right treatment, there’s no reason why you cannot go on to conceive. At Srushti, our team’s success rate for treatment of endometriosis with corrective laparoscopic surgeries is on par with leading global centres. Even better, over 80% of our patients, who were diagnosed with this painful condition, have gone on to conceive with various assisted reproductive techniques!” - Dr Divya Sivaraman, fertility Consultant.