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What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows in other areas of the body. Endometriosis causes pain, irregular bleeding, and infertility.

Where does the 'uterus tissue' grow?

In endometriosis, the most common areas for the uterine tissue to grow are: the pelvic area, outside of the uterus, on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and the delicate lining of the pelvis. However, it can occur in other areas of the body as well.

What Causes Endometriosis?

The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown.

What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?

Some women with endometriosis may not experience symptoms. If symptoms are present, the most common symptoms are:

  • Increasingly painful periods
  • Lower abdominal pain or pelvic cramps that can by felt for a week or two before menstruation
  • Pain during or following sex
  • Pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time during the menstrual cycle
  • Fatigue
  • Painful urination during periods
  • Painful bowel movements during periods
  • Premenstrual spotting
  • Infertility
  • pain before and during periods

Can Endometriosis be Prevented?

Since the exact cause is unknown, there is no proven prevention for endometriosis.

Risk Factors for developing Endometriosis

Some of the most common risk factors for endometriosis are:

  • mother or sister with endometriosis
  • early onset of menstrual periods
  • regular menstrual cycles
  • and periods lasting 7 or more days

How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

Your doctor can perform a pelvic examination. During the pelvic examination, the doctor will look for lumpy, tender nodules.

Your doctor may also perform a pelvic ultrasound and a laparoscopy. A laparoscopy usually shows the location, size, and extent of the growths.

Treatments for Endometriosis

Endometriosis can be treated. Your doctor will prescribe medication based on the types and severity of your symptoms.

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