Anna Winstanley Physiotherapy York

Endometriosis Awareness Month 

A woman sits hunched over in pain on her bed with a duvet wrapped around her, struggling from endometriosis symptoms

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. In the first of this 2-part blog series, we will uncover what we know about this painful gynaecological condition.

The second part of our Endometriosis awareness month series will explore how physiotherapy can help women to manage endometriosis. 

  • Endometriosis affects one in 10 women in the UK. 
  • That’s around 1.5 millions women in the UK 
  • It is the 2nd most common gynaecological condition after fibroids.
  • Endometriosis takes on average eight years from initial presentation at GP practice to diagnosis. During this time. Many women experience uncertainty around the cause of their symptoms, or the cause of their pain with misinformation, medical gaslighting and diagnostic 
  • Most women are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 35.
  • There is no known cure for endometriosis.

What is Endometriosis awareness month?

Endometriosis is a condition where endometrium-like tissue is found outside the uterus. This could be in and around the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, but it may also be present elsewhere in the body.

There have been some reports of endometrium-like tissue found as far as the brain. Usually a woman’s monthly hormone cycle will cause her to shed the endometrium from inside the uterus (menstruation). In people with endometriosis the endometrium-like tissue outside of the uterus also responds to those cyclical hormones.

In the absence of a means to excrete the tissue, inflammation results, causing pain and scarring. 

Who gets endometriosis?

People assigned female at birth can develop endometriosis at any time between onset of periods and their cessation (ie. between menarche and menopause) regardless of race or ethnicity.

Endometriosis awareness month – Symptoms

  • Painful periods
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Infertility
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Fatigue

However, this list is not exhaustive. Women will report a wide range of symptoms.

Living with endometriosis can be extremely difficult. It affects a woman’s whole sense of self, her relationships, her career, her mental health and her physical abilities. 

How is Endometriosis diagnosed?

The gold standard for diagnosis of endometriosis is by laparoscopic investigation. This is where a small keyhole incision is made in the abdomen and a small camera is inserted into the abdomen to search for the endometrial-like tissue.

Before reaching this stage, women may have experienced multiple other investigations, and have been told that the results and therefore their symptoms, are normal. However, normal blood tests, scans or internal examinations do not mean that you don’t have Endometriosis.

What are the treatment options for Endometriosis?

Medication

Hormonal treatments and / or analgesics can help manage the symptoms

Surgery

Options include conservative surgery, in which the endometrial-like tissue is removed, through to radical surgery in which full hysterectomy and oophorectomy may be performed.

Complementary Therapies

Complementary supporting therapies can help to manage pain and the mental health aspect of the condition.

Physiotherapy

Getting the right physiotherapy helps to improve function and ability to carry out daily tasks as well as offering a range of pain management solutions.

If you are looking for more in-depth information this Endometriosis awareness month, here is a guide about treatment options and with helpful guidance on decision-making from Endometriosis UK

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Anna Winstanley

Hi I’m Anna, a Women's Health Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor in York with a nerdy passion for all things women’s health and wellbeing. I’ve worked with countless women over the years, helping them to feel strong, overcome pain and improve their quality of life so they can be marvellous mums, excellent employees and super selves.

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Endometriosis Awareness Month 

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. In the first of this 2-part blog series, we will uncover what we know about this painful gynaecological condition. The second part will explore how physiotherapy can help women to manage endometriosis. 

Read More »