12 August 2020, Doha – Endometriosis is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years, which is approximately 176 million women around the world1. Symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, and infertility, and can impact on general physical, mental and social wellbeing.
Experts at Sidra Medicine, a QF entity, advise early diagnosis and referral for symptoms that may suggest the presence of endometriosis. Early detection and intervention correlates with improved outcomes and improvements in quality of life as well as future fertility. The women’s and children’s hospital, offers a specialized approach in the treatment of endometriosis as part of its Women’s Services program.
Dr. Caitlin Huckell
Dr. Caitlin Huckell, Senior Attending Physician at Sidra Medicine said: “Symptoms such as painful periods and pelvic pain can be the classic forms of endometriosis. However, other subtle presentations can cause a delay in initial diagnosis. Women in pain or bleeding with bowel movements during menses or those who experience pain during intercourse, are recommended to see a gynecologist for a potential diagnosis of endometriosis.”
“At Sidra Medicine, we provide a multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of endometriosis, which has been developed to address the variable symptoms that can impact on a woman’s quality of life. Differing treatment options allow for individualized patient care programs based on their specific circumstances and healthcare needs. For some women, medical management is the best approach, while for others, surgical intervention would be the mainstay of treatment,” continued Dr. Huckell.
Since opening its main hospital in January 2018, Sidra Medicine has proven itself as a pioneer in its field by using the latest technology and techniques to provide the highest levels of healthcare for women and children in Qatar. It is one of the few hospitals in the region to offer minimally invasive robotic surgery for both its pediatric and women’s services.
Dr. Aisha Yousuf
Dr. Aisha Yousuf, Medical Director of Reproductive Surgery at Sidra Medicine said: “Some women with endometriosis are given the recommendation to have a hysterectomy. We believe this is not the last surgical option. Today’s technology has significantly evolved. The option of using a minimally invasive surgical approach, including robotic surgery, to assess and treat endometriosis improves patient recovery and reduces risk. Using small key-hole incisions reduces postoperative pain and allows for early discharge from the hospital with rapid recovery for most women. In addition there are other non-surgical options and medications to manage endometriosis symptoms related to pelvic pain, infertility, or heavy uterine bleeding.”
One of the most common chronic pain areas diagnosed in women are in the pelvic region and one of the major reasons for pelvic pain is endometriosis. However, as not all pelvic pain is endometriosis, Sidra Medicine’s Adult Pain Clinic for women, allows for diagnosis and care of alternate etiologies including pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic adhesions, adenomyosis and pain syndromes such as myofascial pain syndrome or neuropathic pain. The Adult Pain Clinic’s treatment program includes options such as injection by guided X-rays, cognitive behavioral therapy, physiotherapy, ultrasound and advanced pain interruption techniques.
Dr. Yousuf continued: “Patients with chronic pain often experience depression, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and decreased overall physical and mental functioning. It is our multi-disciplinary clinic approach that makes healthcare at Sidra Medicine stand out, as our patient and family centered care features input from a range of specialists in different disciplines, including gynecology, pain medicine, physiotherapy and clinical psychology.”
“We also understand that during a pandemic, many women deferred from seeing a doctor. However we strongly recommend that if they are experiencing distressing symptoms as identified, they should book to see their gynecologist. Hospitals in Qatar, including Sidra Medicine have put in place various safety protocols for patients to limit the spread of the virus and to ensure the safety of patients and staff,” concluded Dr. Yousuf.
Sidra Medicine’s Women’s Services includes gynecology, obstetrics, maternal-fetal medicine, reproductive medicine and perinatal mental health services. Its maternity services program also offers lactation consultations, thyroid and diabetes treatment in pregnancy and post-pregnancy. The services are in addition to the Women's Urgent Care and Obstetric Triage Services.
Notes to the Editor:
- Facts about Endometriosis: www.endometriosis.org [Accessed on 21 July 2020]