A SALISBURY doctor has used Endometriosis Awareness Month to launch a personal campaign to get women across Wessex confident talking about and getting help for Endometriosis.

Greg Pearson is a Consultant Gynaecologist at Sarum Road Hospital in Winchester and has been a specialist in women’s health since 2017 - he also works at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. 

His interest in the condition stemmed from postgraduate training he did from 2009 until 2017, followed by a personal campaign following trends he’s noticed in patients. 

Endometriosis is a debilitating condition that affects one in ten women across the UK, and sadly the average diagnosis takes eight years. Additional findings point to an economic impact of £8.2bn each year due to women needing to take time off work, treatment and healthcare costs. 

Greg said: "The main challenge facing women is accessing a specialist who will listen. Being able to explain symptoms and then asking the right questions makes a massive difference when it comes to diagnosing Endometriosis.

"Pressures across the healthcare system currently are leaving women waiting for unacceptable amounts of time. Women with Endometriosis are disproportionately affected.

Salisbury Journal: Greg Pearson is a Consultant Gynaecologist at Sarum Road Hospital Greg Pearson is a Consultant Gynaecologist at Sarum Road Hospital (Image: Circle Health Group)

"To make their situation worse, symptoms are often incorrectly ascribed to another condition.” 

Endometriosis affects the lining of the womb and can impact a patient’s life from chronic pain and fatigue, to an inability to conceive. Greg outlined some of the key symptoms to look out for.  

He said: “Lower tummy pain or pelvic pain is one of the most common symptoms I see in patients. Painful and heavy periods or pain during sex are also key symptoms to keep an eye out for.

"Finally, bleeding between periods and pressure on the bladder or bowel are also extremely common.” 

Even if you only have one of the symptoms, Greg is encouraging women to take control of their health and speak to a specialist.  

“Pelvic pain with or without heavy bleeding can significantly impair someone’s ability to enjoy life. I’ve had patients tell me that they haven’t left home for days on end. This is no way to live!

"Making an appointment with a specialist can relieve many of the concerns that patients have. From worries about fertility, hormonal changes or even treatment options. We need to be encouraging women to feel confident talking about endometriosis."

"Getting in front of the right specialist and providing them with your symptoms and story will drastically improve your chances of getting a diagnosis and onto the correct treatment pathway. The options are there from small, keyhole procedures through to hormonal tablets and more invasive surgeries like a hysterectomy.”  

Greg added: "In my own NHS practice in Salisbury, we have developed a specialist training and skills programme which is helping us to improve the outcomes of endometriosis patients across the region.

"The more we talk about the condition and equip patients with the information they need, the better our chances are of tackling endometriosis once and for all.”