Wednesday, January 2, 2019 5:18 PM

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is when the inside lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus due to retrograde blood flow. In other words, part of the tissue released during menstruation back flows through the fallopian tubes and implants in the pelvis, irritating surrounding tissues.
The common symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • Painful periods
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Excessive bleeding during and between periods
  • Fatigue, diarrhea, constipation or nausea during period 

Why Is Endometriosis So Painful?

It is often a painful disorder because the displaced tissue becomes trapped with each menstrual cycle and has no way to exit the body. There are also different stages of endometriosis based on the extent of the disease. Stage 1 is considered mild and stage 4 is aggressive with varying symptoms.

How Do You Know You Have Endometriosis?

Research shows about 11% of women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 are affected by endometriosis. To verify diagnosis, patients undergo a laparoscopic surgical procedure usually performed by an OB/GYN.

Is Endometriosis Treatable?

Yes. Many women will choose to treat their pain symptoms with hormonal suppression first, usually with a form of contraceptive, before moving forward with surgery. See your doctor if you experience any signs or symptoms that may indicate endometriosis.
“If it's something that's bothering you enough to affect quality of life, or if it’s something that's getting worse with time, then it's something that needs to be addressed,” says Dr. Carolina Sueldo with Women’s Specialty & Fertility Center. “It may not be endometriosis, but certainly that's one of the things that need to be looked at.”

Does Endometriosis Affect Fertility?

Approximately one-third to one-half of women with endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant. However, if diagnosed early and symptoms are managed properly, women with endometriosis can still conceive and carry a pregnancy to term.