What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common disorder that affects many women in New Zealand. It may be that up to 1 in 10 women are affected. It occurs when endometrial tissue, which should only be found in the uterus, also grows outside the uterus, such as on ovaries or the bowel. This can be very painful and is why women with endometriosis usually have pain around the same time as their period.
The most common symptom you may experience is pain with periods. Other symptoms include pain with deep intercourse, pain with bowel motions during your period and difficulty falling pregnant. You may become hyper-aware of an impending period.
Common symptoms in the premenstrual phase in women with endometriosis include bloating, spotting, pain and general irritability.
Endometriosis may cause difficulty conceiving and is something fertility specialists will consider as a cause of infertility.
Not all women with endometriosis will be symptomatic, in some women it may be diagnosed incidentally.
If you are experiencing pain with periods or other symptoms as described we recommend review by an experienced practitioner in this area. It may be a trial of hormonal therapy is a reasonable first step before more intensive options are considered such as laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery.
If it is not causing symptoms or problems conceiving it may not require any treatment.
How we can help
- Endometriosis New Zealand - Endo information
- Health Navigator New Zealand - Endometriosis
- Ministry of Health - Endometriosis
For the Endometriosis part of this presentation, fast forward the video to 07:17.