I have very strong pains before and during my periods. Could it be a sign of endometriosis?
Yes. Endometriosis is a gynaecological condition in which the tissue that is usually found inside the uterus is found outside of it, around the organs in the pelvis (ovaries, Fallopian tubes, ligaments, intestines or bladder). This is one of the most frequent causes of infertility.
An estimated 20% of women of child bearing age suffer from endometriosis. The development of endometriosis after the menopause is however very rare.
The most common clinical symptoms are extremely strong pains before and during menstruation, as well as during sexual relations, bowel movements and urination. Other symptoms include weakness, bloating and fertility problems.
If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, endometriosis may be considered a potential cause, but a definitive diagnosis will only be pronounced after endoscopic imaging (ultrasound or MRI scan) or investigation.
Treatment depends on the type of pain experienced, the impact on your quality of life and the desire for fertility. It is also entirely dependent on the stage and extent of the condition.
The first step of treatment is to begin taking a contraceptive pill, followed by additional, more targeted progesterone-only pills. The next step involves blocking certain hormones through injections of GrNH analogues.
In certain cases, an assessment must be carried out via an endoscopic intervention in order to establish a clearer view of the extent of the condition. During this surgery, which is generally practiced as an outpatient intervention with minimal incisions (minimally invasive surgery, coelioscopy, laparoscopy), lesions are treated either by cauterisation or excision. At the same time, adherences which may have been causing discomfort are freed.
I have a lump-like feeling in my vagina. What should I do?
A vaginal lump can point to several things. It may be due to an inflammation of the Bartholin gland, which is located at the entrance to the vagina and which can sometimes cause discomfort when touched, or pelvic organ descent or prolapse, which may occur around the bladder, rectum or vagina.
In any case, the best option is to consult with your gynaecologist. Only an examination can provide an accurate diagnosis and enable you to create a treatment plan, either through anti-inflammatories or minimally invasive surgery.