Endometriosis: separating the myth from the fact

Around 176 million women around the world suffer from endometriosis

Endometriosis is a chronic and often debilitating disease that affects women during the prime of their life. Due to the complex nature of endometriosis and the fact that no one is entirely sure what causes it, there are a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding the disease. Here are five of the myths dispelled:

1.       Myth 1: There is a cure for endometriosis

At this point in time there is no known cure for endometriosis; after all we still don’t know definitively what causes it. There are treatments including surgery that can relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life. But before you get to treatment, you need to first obtain an accurate diagnosis of why you are suffering chronic pelvic pain.

2.       Myth 2: Severe period pain is normal

No it is not. If you are in such pain that it interferes with your day-to-day activities it is not normal, nor is it okay. If you are experiencing chronic pain, OMNI Ultrasound offers a Sonovaginography which is a safe, no-downtime scan that can negate the need for two laparoscopies and exclude severe endometriosis before commencing fertility treatment.

3.       Myth 3: You’re too young to have endometriosis

Wrong. If you are pre-menopausal endometriosis is not age specific.  This myth has its origins in the 1970s when laparotomy was the only way to diagnose the disease. Due to the nature of this procedure, only women in their 30 – 40s were operated on. And so the conclusion was reached that endometriosis was a disease of women in their 30s and 40s.

With the introduction of the minimal access laparoscopy, gynaecologists were able to diagnose the disease in women in their 20s and early 30s. The only problem with this is that it seems like they found the disease because they were looking for it.

4.       Myth 4: Pregnancy cures endometriosis

Wrong. As we’ve already said there is no known cure for endometriosis at this time. Thankfully, the myth that pregnancy is a cure for endometriosis is disappearing.

The truth of the matter is that pregnancy may supress symptoms associated with endometriosis, but after childbirth it will return, once you stop breast feeding.

5.       Myth 5: Abortion causes endometriosis

No. People who are of this opinion are getting endometritis and endometriosis confused. They are two different conditions.

Diagnosing Endometriosis

At OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care in Sydney we offer 3D Sonovaginography which is a safe, no-downtime scan to predict deep or severe infiltrating endometriosis. One of the advantages of a 3D Sonovaginography is that it provides your GP or Obstetrician extra information above a conventional sonography of the pelvis. If you are diagnosed with endometriosis at OMNI, our team can plan your management which may include the use of non-invasive hormonal approaches or in specific cases laparoscopic surgery for definitive treatment.

Talk to the team at OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care in Sydney to find out how we can help you. Contact us today.

OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care

Condous performs Advanced Endosurgery procedures for women needing intervention for pelvic masses, adnexal pathology, severe endometriosis or hysterectomy. He also runs ‘Hands on’ Live Sheep Laparoscopic Workshops for gynaecologists at Camden Veterinarian School.
Having completed an undergraduate degree with the University of Adelaide, he left Australia in 1993 and moved to London where he completed his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. From 2001 to 2003 Condous worked as a Senior Research Fellow at St George’s Hospital, London. At St George’s he set up the Acute Gynaecology Unit, the first in the United Kingdom. It was also during this time that he developed an interest in Early Pregnancy and especially the management of pregnancies of unknown location (PULs). Condous has developed many mathematical models for the prediction of outcome of PULs which have been featured in numerous peer review journals. In 2005, he returned to Australia where he completed his Laparoscopic Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Reproductive Endosurgery, Royal North Shore, Sydney.

Condous was appointed as a Consultant Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Nepean Hospital in 2006 and soon was made Associate Professor. In 2010, he was made Departmental Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nepean Hospital. He obtained the MRCOG in 1999 and was made FRANZCOG in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded his Doctorate in Medicine (MD), University of London, for his thesis entitled: “The management of pregnancies of unknown location and the development of new mathematical models to predict outcome”.

Condous has edited three books including the “Handbook of Early Pregnancy Care”, published over 100 papers in international journals and is internationally renowned for his work in Early Pregnancy. He is the Associate Editor for Gynaecologic Obstetric Investigation, which is a European based journal, as well as the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine (AJUM). He is on the organising committee and is an invited speaker at the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) Scientific meeting in Sydney 2013. His current research interests relate to the management of ectopic pregnancy, 1st trimester growth, PULs and miscarriage and the use of transvaginal ultrasound (in particular sonovaginography, to predict posterior compartment deep infiltrating rectovaginal endometriosis).Condous is also actively involved with post-graduate education including the annual running of the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecological Ultrasound Interactive Courses for Sonologists, Radiologists, Sonographers and Gynaecologists in Australia.