Gynaecologist climbing Everest equivalent to highlight crippling condition

10th Mar 2023

A gynaecologist is raising awareness of endometriosis during March by climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest – in the gym.

Dr Alvaro Bedoya-Ronga, who works for City and Sandwell Hospitals, is one fifth of the way through his epic 35,000-step journey and is devoting 20 minutes a day to the task.

He hopes that more people will understand the effect that endometriosis has on women by highlighting his challenge and why he’s doing it.

The condition is where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, causing pain. It can affect women of any age, including teenagers and is long-term that can have a significant impact on a person’s life.

He said: “I’m doing this primarily because I want to raise as much awareness of endometriosis as I can. On average it takes eight years for patients to be diagnosed with this condition which can be crippling for a woman.

“I want patients to be aware and feel empowered to seek answers to why they are in pain. And I want clinicians to also be more aware of the symptoms and repercussions of endometriosis related chronic pain in a woman’s life.”

As part of his challenge, Dr Bedoya-Ronga is also raising money for Your Trust Charity, the official charity for Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust which runs the hospitals.

Cash will go towards enhancing the Endometriosis Centre that will be based at the organisation’s new hospital, the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital which is opening next year in Smethwick.

He added: “We treat over 300 women every year with this condition which can have devastating effects on their everyday life. It can start showing from a very early age, the beginning of a woman’s periods. Symptoms include heavy painful periods and pain during sex. But some may also experience pain in the bladder and bowel area as endometriosis spreads.

“If a woman suspects she has endometriosis she should in the first instance visit her GP. They will usually recommend or prescribe painkillers. Contraception can also be an effective way to manage pain. However, if these methods don’t work, then they will be referred to hospital for further investigations.

“Currently we have clinics running one day a week at City Hospital and this service will transfer over to the Midland Met when it opens in the form of the Endometriosis Centre. It will give us capacity to see and treat more patients going forward and therefore helping so many who live with this chronic condition.”

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