Treating Endometriosis

One in ten women are diagnosed with endometriosis, with a number of stages indicating the severity of the condition. In some cases, endometriosis leads to pain that requires treatment and management with medication or surgery. In other cases, it can also impact fertility.

Symptoms of endometriosis

While some patients do not experience pain, and thus may not recognise their condition, there are a few common symptoms of endometriosis that can be debilitating. These symptoms are:

  • Painful or abnormal periods, including spotting, heavy bleeding and cramps before and during menstruation
  • Pain during ovulation
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination
  • Pain in the pelvic area, lower back or legs
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Difficulty falling pregnant

Treatment for endometriosis

Treatment can be dependant on the concerns the patient has. With pain treatment, surgery may not be necessary, while treatment for fertility may require other treatments.

For pain

Pain killers: Some over the counter pain killers can actually help temporarily treat the pain that comes with heavy periods and cramping. In some cases, a doctor can prescribe other pain killers.

Hormonal treatment: Medication like birth control can suppress the normal menstrual cycle, stopping or slowing down endometriosis cell growth. The pill is the most common hormonal treatment.

Laparoscopy: A laparoscopy involves making an incision in the abdomen so a viewing instrument (laparoscope) can determine whether cysts and cells are present. This surgery is usually suggested to initially diagnose the patient with endometriosis, but the surgeon can usually remove all visible cysts and cells during the surgery.

Hysterectomy: For severe cases that cannot be treated with other methods, more extensive surgery may be necessary. A hysterectomy or removal of the ovaries may be necessary to remove dangerous cysts.

Bowel surgery: If cells are infiltrating the bowel it can lead to a number of symptoms. Doctors may suggest removing the affected part of the bowel, but it is an uncommon treatment.

For fertility

While medication and hormones will not help with fertility, surgery has been shown to improve fertility in women, though not proven. Removal of cysts on the ovaries may help fertility, however, it is recommended that other causes are looked for and treated.

Can endometriosis be cured permanently?

While there is no cure for endometriosis, pain killers and hormone therapy can manage the painful symptoms of the condition. Removal of ovaries and the uterus can also relieve debilitating pain.

If you have concerns with heavy periods, cramping or pelvic pain, speak to your doctor as soon as possible. A GP can speak to you about possible testing or diagnosis. New and existing patients can call Omni Gynaecare on 1300 851 968.

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.