Endometriosis Treatment

Endometriosis significantly impacts women’s quality of life. This condition may not be immediately apparent to those who are suffering from it, which is why we’ll be taking a closer look at this condition, its symptoms, diagnosis methods and available treatment options in Singapore, including endometriosis surgery.

Understanding Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a medical condition where tissue similar to the uterine lining, called the endometrium, grows outside of the uterus. This growth can occur on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and even the tissue lining the pelvis. On rare occasions, endometrial tissue may spread beyond the pelvic organs. This aberrant growth can lead to serious pain, inflammation, and the formation of scar tissue.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

The symptoms of endometriosis can vary widely. Typically, there is some form of pelvic pain, and the condition is often associated with menstrual periods. While many women experience cramping pain during their menstrual period, those with endometriosis typically experience menstrual pain that is far worse. Other symptoms may include:

Pain during sexual intercourse

Discomfort during bowel movement or urination

Excessive bleeding during or between periods

Infertility

It is important to note that the severity of pain itself isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of the extent of the condition, but does often point to the existence of the condition. In fact, some women with mild endometriosis may experience severe pain, while others with advanced endometriosis may face little pain or even no symptoms at all.

Diagnosing Endometriosis

Endometriosis can be particularly challenging to diagnose because its symptoms often overlap with those of other conditions. A thorough and systematic approach is crucial for an accurate diagnosis.

The diagnostic journey for endometriosis typically begins with a detailed discussion of the patient’s medical history and symptoms. This includes understanding:

  • the nature, location, and timing of pain
  • menstrual patterns
  • fertility issues
  • family history of endometriosis

After this, a thorough physical examination of the pelvis is done to check for any possible cysts on the reproductive organs.

Imaging tests also play a significant role in the diagnosis of endometriosis. Ultrasound, including both transvaginal and abdominal ultrasound, is commonly used. In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be recommended. MRI provides detailed images of the organs and tissues within the pelvis and can offer more precise information about the location and size of endometrial growth.

The most definitive diagnosis of endometriosis is often made through a surgical procedure known as laparoscopy, where a thin tube and camera is inserted through the abdomen. A laparoscopy not only confirms the diagnosis but can also provide information about the extent and location of the tissue growth, which is valuable for treatment planning.

Treatment Options

There is currently no cure for endometriosis, but various treatments can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment choice depends on the severity of symptoms and whether the woman wishes to have children.

Medications for Pain Management

Pain relief is often the first step in treating endometriosis. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen can help manage menstrual cramps and pelvic pain. Hormone therapy can also be effective in reducing or eliminating pain.

Hormonal contraceptives, especially combined hormonal birth control pills, patches, or vaginal rings, may reduce or eliminate the pain in some women. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists and antagonists can also be used to halt menstruation, leading to the shrinking of endometriosis growth and reducing symptoms.

Endometriosis Surgery

For women who have severe pain from endometriosis and who haven’t responded to other treatments, surgery might be an option. The goal of endometriosis surgery is to remove as much endometriosis tissue as possible while preserving the uterus and ovaries. This can be done through laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure.

In severe cases, a hysterectomy – the removal of the uterus – may be considered, but this is typically only recommended when all other treatments have failed, and the woman is sure she doesn’t want to conceive in the future.

Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle changes can also play a role in managing endometriosis symptoms. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may help improve symptoms for some women. However, these changes may only alleviate the condition by a small amount.

Medications for Pain Management

Pain relief is often the first step in treating endometriosis. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen can help manage menstrual cramps and pelvic pain. Hormone therapy can also be effective in reducing or eliminating pain.

Hormonal contraceptives, especially combined hormonal birth control pills, patches, or vaginal rings, may reduce or eliminate the pain in some women. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists and antagonists can also be used to halt menstruation, leading to the shrinking of endometriosis growth and reducing symptoms.

Endometriosis Surgery

For women who have severe pain from endometriosis and who haven’t responded to other treatments, surgery might be an option. The goal of endometriosis surgery is to remove as much endometriosis tissue as possible while preserving the uterus and ovaries. This can be done through laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure.

In severe cases, a hysterectomy – the removal of the uterus – may be considered, but this is typically only recommended when all other treatments have failed, and the woman is sure she doesn’t want to conceive in the future.

Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle changes can also play a role in managing endometriosis symptoms. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may help improve symptoms for some women. However, these changes may only alleviate the condition by a small amount.

Endometriosis and Fertility

It is estimated that about half of the women with this condition may experience difficulties getting pregnant. However, it is still possible for women with mild to moderate endometriosis to conceive naturally. Fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) can help.

Women who have endometriosis and wish to conceive a child should speak to their doctors as soon as they can, as early intervention and treatment can significantly improve the chances of conception.

Endometriosis Specialist in Singapore

At W Gynae, we understand how frustrating endometriosis can be and want to help women with this condition return to living their life pain-free as quickly as possible.

We specialise in providing personalised women’s healthcare for women of all ages and various conditions. Before your endometriosis treatment, whether it’s hormone therapy or surgery, we’ll discuss your health profile and any cost concerns you might have. We want you to always feel comfortable in our hands.

Get In Touch

Please use the form here to contact us. We will attend to your enquiry / feedback within 1 working day. Thank you!

For urgent enquires and appointments, please call our clinic or WhatsApp us.

*Appointment is preferred as it allows us to inform you of any last minute changes in the event of an emergency call for doctor. We accept walk-ins unless our doctor is not available.

*WhatsApp us if you would like to walk in to check if doctor is available

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, endometriosis surgery, especially laparoscopic surgery, is a common and often effective treatment in Singapore for those with severe symptoms or for women whose condition has not improved with medication. The surgery aims to remove as much endometrial tissue as possible.

Hormone therapy can be an effective long-term solution but it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those looking to conceive. The suitability and duration of hormone therapy vary depending on individual cases and should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

Yes, endometriosis can recur after treatment. The recurrence rate depends on the treatment type and the individual’s condition. Follow-up treatments and proactive management may be necessary.