Dr Gary Swift is a leading expert in Endometriosis and operates from his clinic located in the Benowa medical precinct.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disease that is treatable by specialists like Dr Gary Swift, who is an expert Gynaecological Laparoscopic Surgeon on the Gold Coast. Endometriosis affects 10% of women of reproductive age and can occur when cells that normally line the inside of the uterus (womb) implant and grow outside the uterus, within the pelvis. The endometrium (lining) of the uterus spreads to the pelvis through the tubes and settles most commonly in the pelvis. Like the lining of the uterus, the endometrium grows under the influence of the major female hormone oestrogen. The most common sites in the pelvis are on and below the ovaries, and deep in the pelvis behind the uterus, called the Pouch of Douglas. Here the endometriosis grows on the ligaments behind the uterus and on the vagina and rectum. The endometriosis tissue deposits respond to the cycling female hormones and continue to grow and cause progressive scarring and distorsion of anatomy.
How can I tell if I have endometriosis?
The most common symptoms of endometriosis are: Pelvic pain (with periods , sex or any time in the menstrual cycle), spotting before the period, ovulation pain (mid cycle pain), infertility and changes in bowel, bladder. It is more common in women who have relatives with the disease (especially mother and/or sisters). Some women have no symptoms.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above you could have endometriosis. However, these same symptoms could point toward another diagnosis. It is always best to consult a specialist like Dr Gary Swift who has a clinic on the Gold Coast.
There are varying degrees of endometriosis and staging is based on severity. Stage 1 endometriosis is said to exist when there are relatively few implants where as Stage 4 endometriosis is said to exist when there are extensive implants and severe adhesive disease. Adjacent organs are usually involved such as the bladder and bowel.
Will it make me infertile?
Not necessarily. Endometriosis at any stage can have a negative impact on fertility however Infertility occurs in only 20% of women with endometriosis. Early or mild disease has only a small impact on fertility but if untreated it can worsen and lead to infertility. Early diagnosis and treatment by laparoscopic techniques is the “Gold Standard” in relieving symptoms and preserving fertility. Specialists like Dr Gary Swift can guide diagnosis and treatment and manage any fertility difficulties through his clinic and QFG Gold Coast, which you can connect with by following this link.
If it did involve surgery, how does that help?
Surgery is the “Gold Standard” method for removal of endometriosis with long term research suggesting a recurrence rate of only 25% over 3 years. Complete excision of endometrial deposits is essential to give the best chance of cure. This can only be achieved by an expert in Advanced Gynaecological Laparoscopic Surgery like Dr Gary Swift.
An ongoing management plan can also be given by the specialist looking after you. For more information on Dr Gary Swift follow this link.