The common endometriosis symptoms are pain in the abdomen and/or pelvis. This pain is sometimes severe. However, some women, even with severe endometriosis, may experience no symptoms at all.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue that behaves and acts like the tissue that normally lines the uterus begins to grow elsewhere in the abdominal cavity.
This tissue responds to the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle and will grow, shed and bleed much like the uterine lining during menstruation.
Commonly endometriosis occurs on the ovaries where it may cause infertility, or on ligaments surrounding the uterus.
The exact cause of endometriosis is not well understood. Serious complications can arise if it occurs on the intestines, bladder, or if it causes extensive scarring to tissues.
- lower abdominal pain (increases during menstruation)
- abdominal cramps
- pelvic pain
- spotting or abnormal menstrual bleeding
- pain during sexual intercourse
Diagnosis is typically through a combination of physical examination, exploratory surgery, and tissue biopsy.
Treatment is typically with drug therapy to control the growth of the endometriosis and its response to the normal hormone cycle during menstruation.
Pain relief can be achieved with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Many different surgical techniques are used to remove endometrial tissue, however it often recurs. Treatment attempts commonly aim to restore fertility to women who wish to have children.