Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus grows on surfaces outside the uterus. The tissue can grow on organs, the ovaries or other areas inside the pelvic and abdominal cavities. These areas often become swollen and scarred, causing pain, especially during your menstrual cycle. While endometriosis is fairly common, affecting anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of women, it is still misunderstood. The following are facts you should know about endometriosis:
Endometriosis may cause infertility but is not the only cause of infertility. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of women with endometriosis are infertile, according to the Cleveland Clinic. However, many women with endometriosis can and do successfully get pregnant and have children. Other health conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, can affect a woman's ability to get pregnant. If you are under 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for one year or more, you should talk to your doctor. This time is shortened for women over 35.Endometriosis affects women of all ages, ethnicities and socio-economic statuses. It develops during childbearing years, anytime from the first menstrual period until menopause. Symptoms frequently disappear after menopause but a few women do continue to experience pain past menopause. The most common symptom of endometriosis is pain in the abdomen, pelvic area and lower back. Women with endometriosis might have very painful menstrual cramps, heavy periods, spotting between periods, intestinal pain and pain during or after sex. They may also have gastrointestinal symptoms that mimic a bowel disorder.
Treatment for endometriosis is highly successful and even those who are having difficulty conceiving can both find relief from the pain and become pregnant. If you are experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, please talk with your doctor.References:
"Facts About Endometriosis," Reviewed 2010, March 30, Staff Writer, Cleveland Clinic
"Facts About Endometriosis," Date Unknown, Staff Writer, Illinois Department of Public Health