What is Endometriosis & What Treatment is Available?

Because Endometriosis symptoms vary, getting an expert diagnosis from a Pain Specialist is absolutely essential. “Some women experience mild symptoms, but others can have moderate to severe symptoms. The severity of your pain doesn’t indicate the degree or stage of the condition. You might have a mild form of the disease yet experience agonizing pain. It’s also possible to have a severe form & have very little discomfort” [1]

A Definition

Endometriosis, which affects up to 10% of women, can be described as a condition in which body tissue which resembles the type of tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium), goes rogue, and grows where it shouldn’t. – That is to say: outside the uterine cavity on the bowel, ovaries, and the tissue lining the pelvis. Moreover, in rare incidences, this endometrial tissue can expand beyond the pelvic region [1].

Changing Hormones

Hormonal changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle can impact the disordered endometrial tissue, thus making the area where it has spread, painful and inflamed. This scenario means that the tissue will expand, become thicker, and break down. When the latter occurs, this rogue tissue gets trapped in the pelvis, as there is no where or means, for it to exit the body. This can result in:

• The formation of scars
• Irritation
• Adhesions (brought on by the excess tissue binding the pelvic organs together)
• Fertility issues
• Excruciating pain during menses [1]

So What Can be Done For Women Suffering from Endometriosis?

There are a number of treatment options which your Pain Specialist will tell you about, if he/she thinks that they will benefit your specific situation. These comprise: (a) Specific pain medications which can only be obtained with a prescription. (b) Hormone therapy: research indicates that: “taking supplemental hormones can sometimes relieve pain and stop the progression of endometriosis. Hormone therapy helps your body regulate the monthly hormonal changes that promote the tissue growth that occurs when you have endometriosis” [1]. (c) Conservative surgery: this is designed to destroy or remove a woman’s endometrial growths without causing any harm to her reproductive organs; and is specifically for those who are on hormone treatments which are not successful, those in intense pain, and those who would like to become pregnant. And (d) Laparoscopy to remove the rogue endometrial tissue. In rare instances, if none of the aforementioned treatments work, then the Pain Specialist may suggest a full hysterectomy (a surgical procedure to remove the womb (uterus) [1].


[1]. Mohamed, A.W. (2019). “Endometriosis.” Healthline.