Endometriosis affects 10% of women. Sometimes it causes no symptoms, but it can cause progressive pain both before and during periods, ovarian cysts, heavy and irregular periods, bowel upset (it is often mis-diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome) and general fatigue.

Endometriosis is a major cause of fertility problems.

The diagnosis of endometriosis can only be confirmed by having a keyhole operation (laparoscopy) to look inside your tummy cavity. Surgical and medical treatments are available. The choice of treatment depends on your particular problem. Prevention of recurrence is important so often a surgical procedure is followed up by medical treatments. Pregnancy is also a great treatment for the disease, but of course, if it has stopped you getting pregnant, then we need to treat it first, and IVF may be required.

The symptoms of endometriosis usually resolve after the menopause, but hormone replacement can make it worse again, so careful management is required.