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Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide –  that’s one in 10 women on average.

For women living with this chronic and complex condition, getting access to the right healthcare at the right time is critical.

 

Early diagnosis

Whilst there’s no cure for endometriosis, an early diagnosis means we can slow down its progress, help manage symptoms and limit any long-term impacts.

The best way to start is by consulting with a specialist team. At HCA Healthcare UK, we have created this endometriosis awareness content hub to provide tips and helpful advice for women who might be struggling to reach a formal diagnosis or are not sure where to turn for treatment. For those women, we want to let you know that we have teams of specialists, across five different locations, who are here to listen to you and support you.
Endometriosis Awareness Yellow ribbon

Why does it take so long for endometriosis to be diagnosed?

Endometriosis takes on average 7.5 years to diagnose. But why does it take such a long time?

Here Shaheen Khazali, Consultant Gynaecologist and Endometriosis Surgeon at The Lister Hospital answers this commonly asked question.

58%

of patients surveyed visited their GP 10 or more times with symptoms before receiving a formal endometriosis diagnosis

Your questions answered

Dr Vanessa Eisman, a HCA Healthcare UK GP who specialises in women’s health, provides us with the answers to the most commonly asked questions about endometriosis.

Top 3 questions about endometriosis

  • 1. What are the symptoms of endometriosis? icon plus

    The symptoms for endometriosis depend on where in the body the abnormal endometrial tissue is found, and therefore varies from person to person. The most common symptoms include:

    • Painful or heavy periods
    • Pain in the pelvic area
    • Pain during sexual intercourse
    • Irregular periods
    • Infertility 

    Other symptoms may include tiredness, bleeding when opening bowels or pain when passing urine. 

     
  • 2. What conditions can endometriosis commonly be mistaken for? icon plus

    Endometriosis is sometimes mistaken for other conditions that can cause pelvic pain, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (infection in the pelvis), adenomyosis (endometrial tissue that grows into the muscle layer of the uterus) ovarian cysts, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or interstitial cystitis (bladder pain). It’s crucial that you talk openly and honestly about your symptoms to your GP, and that you see a doctor who you feel truly listens to your concerns. 
  • 3. How can you test for endometriosis? icon plus

    Symptoms of endometriosis are similar to many other conditions, which means getting a diagnosis can take time as these other conditions will need to be excluded. If endometriosis is suspected, an ultrasound scan is often the first investigation, followed by a pelvic MRI if clinically indicated.

    However, the only definitive way to make the diagnosis of endometriosis is by carrying out a laparoscopy – a procedure where a camera is inserted into the pelvis to help the surgeon identify and visualise any signs of endometriosis. 

How can you treat endometriosis?

There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are many ways that symptoms can be treated and managed. This could be either through painkillers, hormone medicines or contraceptives. However, for many women, this will not ease the pain and they will instead require surgery to remove the endometrial tissue or surgery to remove part or all of the organ which is affected by endometriosis. It’s incredibly important that you get advice from a team who specialise in endometriosis, to ensure you receive the right care for you. 

Complex excision surgery – one method of treating endometriosis

For some, complex excision surgery is required to reduce the level of pain and avoid any damage or deterioration to the surrounding internal organs. This complex surgery often involves the work of surgeons across multiple disciplines of medicine.
   

Watch as consultants across gynaecology, endometriosis, colorectal and renal transplant disciplines at The Lister Hospital come together to treat Janice Mann – protecting her vital organs and leaving her pain free.


Please be aware this video contains actual images of the surgical procedure
I cannot thank the team enough for what they have done for me - I will be forever grateful to them all. I woke up from surgery and felt like a completely different person. I felt lighter both physically and mentally, and now feel no pain at all. My skin is better, my weight is more manageable, and I am able to go to work and socialise without many of the worries I had before.”

Katie, Patient who was treated by Mr Denis Tsepov at The Harley Street Clinic Endometriosis Centre

Managing endometriosis at home during COVID-19

Dr Robyn Cohen, Women’s Health GP at Roodlane Medical, provides her top tips on how you can manage endometriosis symptoms at home.
Managing Endometriosis

Endometriosis clinic locations

At HCA Healthcare UK, across our network of hospitals and clinics, we have sub-specialist experts in endometriosis ready to see and treat patients and drastically improve their overall quality of life. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that each patient receives an entirely bespoke treatment plan. Our endometriosis network is comprehensive; see below where we’re able to offer care:

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