Endometriosis Awareness Month: The Long Journey to Diagnosis: What are your options?

  • February 24, 2023
  • Endometriosis
  • GP Education
  • Women's Health

Endometriosis Awareness Month: The Long Journey to Diagnosis: What are your options?

Welcome to Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is a chronic medical condition where the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside of it. This month, we stand with EndoWarriors, recognise their bravery, and work towards improving the diagnosis and treatment of this chronic medical condition.

As discussion surrounding endometriosis is increased and you receive more information about this condition, you may develop concerns about your personal menstrual experiences. It’s important that you listen to your body, acknowledge how you are feeling, and seek support.

Pursuing medical attention for endometriosis-related symptoms can be daunting. Alongside personal hesitations, the figure that the average time taken to receive a diagnosis is 7 years (despite being such a prevalent condition) can further reluctance.

You may be asking (and rightly so) why there is such a prolonged diagnosis time. Some causes include:

  • Lack of knowledge in women, their support circle, and medical professionals
  • The impression that period pain is “normal”
  • Patients not being heard or taken seriously by various health professionals
  • Awkwardness surrounding discussing endometriosis-related symptoms
  • Symptoms being associated with different conditions, resulting in misdiagnosis
  • Difficulty gaining a referral to an available, relevant specialist
  • Lack of simple tests to diagnose endometriosis

At Northside Gynaecology, we are committed to making endometriosis diagnosis more accessible and of a reduce period, to provide patients with clarity and a better quality of life. As we commemorate Endometriosis Month, we want to provide you with information about how to get a diagnosis – from identifying that you have endometriosis-related symptoms, to receiving the treatment you need.

Do my symptoms indicate endometriosis?

Conversation around endometriosis may have made you think: “oh, I experience that; that’s me!” Still, you may feel unsure if your symptoms are related to endometriosis, or another condition. We’ve listed some common symptoms below for further clarity, but it’s important that you speak to your GP if you have any concerning symptoms, as all experiences are unique.

  • Intense period pain, including pain of the abdomen and lower back
  • Pain when urinating or performing bowel movements
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Struggle to fall pregnant

I have these symptoms, now what?

If you have any of these symptoms – or others you feel may be related – you might be experiencing endometriosis. It’s a vital step in the diagnosis journey to recognise this possibility.

The first step to receiving a diagnosis is visiting your GP. At your appointment, they will likely discuss your symptoms and medical history and conduct a pelvic exam, where they physically check for any scarring or cyst formation. An ultrasound may also be conducted to view your pelvic organs and assess signs of endometrial tissue.

From here, if your GP believes endometriosis is a potential cause of your symptoms, you will be referred to a gynaecologist. Request a referral to Northside Gynaecology to be looked after by our experienced female specialists.

If you do not believe your symptoms are being taken seriously, it is important that you speak out. Your voice deserves to be heard, and it is vital that you receive the medical attention you require. Seek a second opinion if you do not feel heard by your current doctor, and request a referral to Northside Gynaecology for further testing. It’s this act of being firm and determined to receive the help that significantly reduces the time it takes to receive a diagnosis. Note: Do your research, and find a GP with a special interest in women’s health and the assessment of endometriosis symptoms, or ask individuals with endometriosis which GP they visited.

How Northside Gynaecology Diagnoses Endometriosis

After you visit your GP and receive a referral to Northside Gynaecology, we can conduct specialised testing to reach an accurate diagnosis. Simply contact us to make an appointment, and provide your referral letter.

Laparoscopy is the surgical procedure utilised to diagnose and treat endometriosis. At our clinic, we use a new laparoscopic method to minimise scarring and promote faster recovery periods.

During this procedure, one of our highly qualified specialists makes a small incision under your belly button, and inserts a specialised probe attached with a camera into your pelvic cavity. The video imagery is then analysed to confirm and treat the endometriosis.

At Northside Gynaecology, we can treat the symptoms of endometriosis through various treatment options – including lifestyle changes, medication and surgery. Learn more about our offered treatment options here. At Northside Gynaecology, our specialists – who are very experienced in supporting endometriosis patients – will provide individualised guidance regarding your best course of action, depending on your specific case.

Many improvements have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, and here at Northside Gynaecology, we’d love to expedite life-changing diagnosis and treatment. Thus, we are dedicated to sharing information about pathways to diagnosis, and making our testing options available to all patients. If you believe you are suffering from endometriosis, please see your GP today, or contact us for support. EndoWarriors, we stand with you in March, and every month of the year.





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