Do you suffer from painful periods? If so, you’re not alone, as many women deal with menstrual pain – or what is medically known as dysmenorrhea – every day. Although, some are worse than others, and this could be due to endometriosis.
Here at MAS Gynaecology, we understand that you may find it difficult to discuss problems surrounding your period, however, it is important that you do not suffer in silence.
Our senior gynaecologist, Mr Masood has extensive expertise in the management of painful periods and endometriosis. He currently works in the regional endometriosis centre, where he deals with a variety of patients who experience period cramps for several reasons – so rest assured you are in capable hands.
The aim of this guide is to outline the cause of painful periods and their association with endometriosis. We will also offer our expert advice and guidance on whether you require endometriosis treatment at our London-based gynaecology clinic.
What causes painful periods?
Essentially, period pain is caused by the chemicals, known as prostaglandins, which are formed in the lining of the uterus and force the uterine muscles to contract. Women with higher levels of this chemical usually experience excessive pain in the lower abdomen during their period.
Most women will experience some form of menstrual cramp, although milder pain can be alleviated through a number of self-care treatments including:
- Heat – apply heat pads or a hot water bottle onto the affected area to reduce your period pains
- Exercise – yoga has been proven to lessen the painful symptoms during your period
- Reduce your tobacco and alcohol intake – both substances are harmful to the body, so it is best to avoid them whilst menstruating
If none of the above treatments work, and you continue to suffer from severe menstrual cramps that affect your everyday routine, then an endometriosis diagnosis is possible.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common gynaecological issue, which involves tissue from the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) forming in places it shouldn’t. This could include the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the bladder, and in some cases, it can spread to the bowel, lungs and even the brain.
This displacement of tissue can cause internal bleeding, inflammation, adhesions and blood-filled cysts, which are usually the main reason for experiencing excruciating menstrual pain.
In addition to menstrual cramps, you may also feel discomfort whilst using the toilet, heavy periods, pain in the lower back, and fatigue. Endometriosis can also cause fertility problems. Although, in some cases, you may not experience any symptoms at all.
Here at MAS Gynaecology, our expert gynaecologists can prescribe hormone medication or, for more severe cases, surgery – which should prevent the above effects.
Our senior consultant, Mr Mohammad Masood has over 20 years’ experience as a gynaecologist. He specialises in keyhole surgeries, such as laparoscopic surgery – which is the only procedure that can determine the diagnosis of endometriosis. So, you can rest knowing you’re in safe hands.
The laparoscopy procedure
Before laparoscopic surgery, you will be given a local anaesthetic to put you to sleep during the surgery. Once you are unconscious, one of our appointed surgeons will make a small incision by your belly button, allowing them to fill your abdomen with gas to get a better look at the damage. A laparoscope – which is a minuscule camera attached to a tube – is then inserted to scan your pelvic organs for scar tissue, which can take from 30 minutes to 6 hours to remove – dependent on the damage.
After your laparoscopy, you will usually be allowed to go home, unless one of our doctors believes you require additional care. You may feel some discomfort when you wake up, and you will be advised to rest and avoid any activities – such as driving, sex, and swimming – until you are told otherwise.
Contact MAS for endometriosis treatment
If after reading our blog, you relate to many of the symptoms mentioned above, then you may be eligible for endometriosis treatment.
If you require laparoscopic surgery, our gynaecologists will treat your case with care by offering a holistic and comfortable approach to alleviate your symptoms and prevent infertility.