Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the type of tissue normally lining the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside the uterus and in places like the ovaries, bowel, bladder and pelvis. Endometriosis affects approximately one in 10 women who are of reproductive age, especially women in their 30s and 40s. Many women with endometriosis experience no symptoms. But some women suffer from long term pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Endometriosis can cause a range of problems, ranging from mild to severe. One of the most common complications is infertility, which can occur when overgrown endometrial tissue damages the sperm or egg, prevents the sperm or egg from moving through the fallopian tubes or uterus, or blocks one or both fallopian tubes. By one estimate, as many as 50 percent of women who have endometriosis experience difficulty getting pregnant.
Besides infertility, endometriosis can cause:
- excessive menstrual bleeding
- severe pelvic pain caused from bleeding of this tissue each month, from scarring and due to inflammation in the pelvic region
- ovarian cysts
Fortunately, there are safe and effective treatments for endometriosis, including medications and surgery. Treatment options can alleviate symptoms, slow the progression of the disease and improve fertility.
Please read the attached Frequently Asked Questions from ACOG for more detailed information about endometriosis. Call us today if you suffer from significant pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding or think you might have endometriosis. The sooner you are evaluated and receive treatment, the greater the chance that you can prevent more serious problems in the future.
Written By: Dr. Evelyn J. Torres