Prepared by Dr Susan Evans
laparoscopic surgeon and endometriosis specialist
Endometriosis is one cause of pelvic pain, but there are many others. If endometriosis is the only cause for your pain, then an operation to remove it may be all you need. However, if you, like most women with endometriosis, have more than one cause for your pain, then an operation alone will not be enough.
No one knows why other causes of pain are so common in women with endometriosis, but they are.
You may have pain from an irritable bladder, constipation, bloating, adhesions, an irritable bowel, painful nerve pathways, migraines or a painful uterus. Removing your endometriosis is still important, but it will only treat the part of your pain that is due to endometriosis. The other pains remain.
Four common causes of pelvic pain and how to recognise them.
Although there are many causes of pain, the four described here are common. You may recognise your pain.
Bladder Pain. The bladder may look normal, but it is painful and easily irritated. Bladder pain usually causes:
Pain from nerves (called Neurogenic pain). Pain over a long time has taught the nerves from the pelvis to send pain impulses to the brain. These nerves will send pain signals even when all the endometriosis has been removed. Neurogenic pain often causes:
Pain from the uterus. Not all period pain is endometriosis. Pain from the uterus can cause:
Pain from the bowels. Bowel pain usually causes:
Many women with endometriosis have been told that they have Irritable bowel syndrome. Sometime this is true. However, there are many other conditions, including endometriosis, that can cause bowel problems. Other conditions that can cause bowel symptoms include:
No doctor has the training to care for all these conditions, so unfortunately you may need to see different people for different problems. It can be a long, frustrating and expensive process finding the help you need.
To make this easier, our book ‘Endometriosis and Other Pelvic Pain’ includes easy-to-read information on all these types of pain. It explains how you can recognise the causes of your pain, what the treatment options are, how you can help yourself and which type of health professional can help you most.
Endometriosis and Other Pelvic Pain is published by Lothian Books and sells for $29.95. The special number that makes it easy for your bookshop to order is ISBN 0 7344 0825 0
You can order the book by fax or mail order from www.drsusanevans.com