Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that behaves like the cells lining the uterus (endometrium) grows in other areas of the body, causing pain, irregular bleeding, and possible infertility. The tissue growth (implant) typically occurs in the pelvic area, outside of the uterus, on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and the delicate lining of the pelvis. Endometriosis is a very common problem which effects one out of seven women of reproductive age.
It is estimated that endometriosis is responsible for up to 40% of fertility problems.
Symptoms of endometriosis include pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, and dyspareunia. Women may also experience the symptoms of a bladder infection around the time of their period but have no other evidence of an infection. They may also develop pain with bowel movements especially in the time prior to the onset of their period.
Another symptom may be a brown discharge or spotting which may occur several days prior to the onset of their regular menstrual cycle. Often times, pain occurs in the lower back area or as cramps in the lower pelvic area. Scarring from this disease may cause fertility problems.
Endometriosis is recurrent and usually requires a long term treatment plan.
Laparoscopic surgery or hormone therapy may be used to treat this condition.