Endometriosis, put simply, is a condition which causes the tissue which lines the uterus to begin to grow in other regions of the body. This condition is painful and can impact fertility. Irregular bleeding is common with endometriosis.
The tissue lining the uterus is called the endometrium. When this tissue grows outside of the uterus, we call that endometriosis. Typically, in endometriosis the tissue begins to cover the reproductive organs, but it can spread to the intestines, bladder and even the rectum. When you menstruate, this lining is expelled. However, in the case of endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus, there is no way to expel that tissue. This causes lesions, scar tissue, and cysts.
When endometriosis covers reproductive organs, this can impact fertility. Fallopian tubes can become blocked and ovaries can be damaged. This condition can be completely asymptomatic. However, many women suffer with horrific pain both prior to and during menstruation. Other symptoms include chronic pelvic discomfort
, pain during periods, pain during ovulation, heavy menstrual flow, painful and frequent urination during menstruation, experiencing deep pain during intercourse, diarrhea, constipation, or pain during bowel movements during menstruation, and fatigue.
At this time, no one knows what causes endometriosis. Experts estimate that roughly 15 percent of women of child bearing age have endometriosis. Diagnosis is made as a result of exam during menstruation, ultrasound, and finally laparoscopic surgery. Treatment is typically either drug therapy or surgery. In women who are trying to conceive, surgery greatly increases your odds of pregnancy
. However, after surgery, endometriosis may reoccur.