Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that forms the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, grows in other places in the body other than the uterus. Endometriosis can cause pain, irregular bleeding, and infertility issues. This condition is most common in women in their 30’s or 40’s, but may occur any time in women who menstruate. It does tend to occur more often in women who have never had a child or for a patient with a family history of endometriosis.
The main symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. Some other symptoms include painful periods, pain in the lower abdomen before or during menstruation, cramps for a week or two before menstruation and during menstruating, pain during or after sexual intercourse, and pain with bowel movements.
If you do have symptoms of endometriosis, your physician will do a pelvic exam, then they will send you for a Transvaginal ultrasound. The only way to be sure if endometriosis is present is by looking directly inside the body so your physician may perform a laparoscopy. If they do this procedure, sometimes, they will remove a small amount of tissue which is a biopsy and study it in the laboratory.
The treatment that you may receive for endometriosis depends on your symptoms, the extent of the disease, your age, and whether you want to have children. Endometriosis can be treated with medication, surgery, or both. A surgery that is done to remove endometriosis is often done by laparoscopy, during this they can remove or burn the endometriosis. Birth control pills may help to prevent or slow down the development of endometriosis.