TEN YEARS: Why a greater understanding of endometriosis is vital

The average time to diagnose endometriosis is ten years.

From presenting symptoms to an accurate diagnosis, a woman sometimes has to wait ten years before they find someone who can give answers. This is one of the reasons why greater awareness of endometriosis as a chronic disease needs to be heightened.

The difficulty in diagnosis

The nature of this chronic disease lends itself to being quite difficult for GPs to diagnose (see: Endometriosis: it affects 1 in 10 women). The first step is greater awareness: by GPs and by women who suffer from chronic pelvic pain.

The symptoms of this debilitating disease range from crippling pain and fatigue to “mild” pain and headaches. Mild is in quotations because pain is such a subjective thing.

What is tolerable for one person may be crippling for another.

A greater understanding of Endometriosis

Sadly, a staggering number of women who experience chronic pelvic pain do not do anything about it (see: Did you know that most women who experience chronic pelvic pain don’t visit the doctor?).  Because seriously, outside of a dictionary definition who knows what constitutes chronic?

Everyone has a unique pain threshold. So, a good rule of thumb is this: if pain is interfering with your day-to-day activities there is something wrong. Common symptoms include painful periods, pain during sexual intercourse, pain at the time of your period when opening your bowels or even non-cyclical persistent pelvic pain.

This is not intended to scare, but to insist that no one knows your body better than you.

So if you are suffering pelvic pain then visit your GP. Alternatively, you can visit us for an ultrasound.

If something is wrong, our compassionate team offer specialised tests to improve diagnosis and help you get the treatment you need to get on with your life.

Knowing what to expect

There are plenty of myths floating around the internet about supposed “cures” for endometriosis (see: Endometriosis: separating the myth from the fact). Unfortunately, there is no cure YET. But research is always being carried out to learn more and more about this disease.

There are other myths like pregnancy cures endometriosis or that endometriosis causes infertility. There are always going to be exceptions to the rule, but these usually occur because of other factors at the time of pregnancy.

Endometriosis does not automatically mean you cannot have children (see: Endometriosis and fertility: the statistics that may surprise you). The severity of endometriosis can affect your ability to conceive naturally: for example, ¾ of women with minimal-mild endometriosis who try for a baby will be pregnant. While only a ¼ of women with severe endometriosis who try for a baby will be pregnant.

A greater awareness of the symptoms of endometriosis is VITAL

Ten years is too long. Especially since the technology to accurately diagnose endometriosis is here now. The medical understanding of this disease is growing daily, so what we need now is more awareness.

This is a chronic disease. One that is difficult to diagnose but far more difficult to live with. At OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care we can help diagnose endometriosis with ultrasound technology guaranteed to provide accurate diagnosis.

If you would like to know more, or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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.