What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when
tissues that usually grow inside uterus instead grow on the outside.
These tissues often grow on the surfaces of organs in the pelvis or abdomen,
where they are not supposed to grow.
Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological diseases, affecting more
than 5.5 million women in North America.
An estimated 2 percent to 10 percent of women of reproductive age have
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
The two most common symptoms of
endometriosis are pain and infertility. Symptoms can include:
- Pain before or after menstrual
periods, as well as, during or after sex
- Lower back, intestinal, or
- Heavy menstrual periods or
spotting and bleeding between periods
- Painful bowel movements or
painful urination during menstrual periods
- Infertility - About 30 percent
to 40 percent of women with endometriosis are infertile, making it one of
the top three causes for female infertility
In most cases, the symptoms of endometriosis
become milder after menopause, because the growths begin to get smaller.
What are the treatments for endometriosis?
There is currently no cure for
endometriosis. But a variety of treatment options exist, and there are
ways to minimize the symptoms caused by the condition. There are several
ways to treat pain, including:
- Pain medication – may be used
to relieve symptoms
- Hormone therapy – may be used
to control the growth of endometriosis
- Surgery – may be used to remove
growths or control the size of very large endometriosis and to relieve
Hormone treatments and surgery may help women who are unable to
become pregnant. There are also other treatments for infertility
associated with endometriosis.
For more information about treatments, check out endometriosis section of the
NICHD publication Endometriosis.
Content Created by National Library of Medicine (NLM)