In support of Endometriosis Week, clinicians and staff at BMI Fitzroy Square Hospital are urging women in London to increase their understanding of the debilitating condition, endometriosis, which affects two million women in the UK. Fitzroy Square Hospital is encouraging women to seek the treatment and advice of specialists for this commonly under-diagnosed condition.
Endometriosis is a condition where cells similar to those of the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body, particularly within the pelvis. Every month, women undergo hormonal changes which increase the thickness of the lining of the womb, in preparation for the attachment of a fertilised egg, which leads to pregnancy. In the absence of pregnancy, the lining of the uterus is shed and released from the body as a period. However, in women who have endometriosis, hormonal changes also cause a breakdown of the endometriotic cells within the pelvis, causing inflammation, pain and the growth of scar tissue.
Mr Robert Sherwin, Consultant Gynaecologist at BMI Fitzroy Square Hospital, explains “Endometriosis symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, tiredness and depression, heavy or irregular periods, pain during or after sex, problems with the bowels or bladder, as well as difficulty in conceiving. Symptoms of endometriosis can vary from mild to severe, but if you have a combination of any of these symptoms or have any concerns you should visit your GP or specialist to be properly diagnosed. Endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose and it takes on average seven years from the onset of symptoms to definitive diagnosis.”
Mr Sherwin continues: “BMI Fitzroy Square Hospitaloffers a comprehensive gynaecological check-up service, including pelvic examination, ultrasound and laparoscopy, which is the only procedure available to definitively diagnose endometriosis.”
The actual cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is currently no cure, although there are a number of different medical and surgical treatments available. However, it is important that treatment takes into account several factors relating to the woman as an individual, such as her age, the severity of the symptoms and the woman’s desire to have children. This is why Mr Sherwin recommends women seek the advice of their specialist women’s health team, who are available to provide information, support and advice on the types of screening and treatment available. At BMI Fitzroy Square Hospital we have developed a unique approach to treating patients with chronic pelvic pain associated with endometriosis and we are able to offer dedicated facilities and the most advanced investigation tools for diagnosis. We offer a multidisciplinary approach to the management of pelvic pain which encompasses gynaecologists, urologists, gastroenterologists, consultants in pain medicine and pain psychologists. Underlying our treatment is a holistic approach to pain management. This means that the body and mind as well as the psychological and social factors must be considered when treating patients.
For more information about the women’s health services offered by BMI Healthcare, please go to: http://www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/womens-health.