A woman’s uterus is lined by tissue, called the endometrium. In endometriosis, this tissue grows in other places of the body, such as the ovaries, bladder or bowels.
Symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Severe pain in the stomach and pelvic areas.
- Heavy and/or painful periods.
- Pain during or after sex.
Most women don't realize they have endometriosis until they struggle to get pregnant.
The only way to be sure you have endometriosis is through laparoscopic surgery, which involves inserting a camera into the stomach area. This allows surgeons to look at your reproductive organs and inspect for tissue growth outside the uterus.
The cause of endometriosis is not known and there is no available cure. Fortunately, a variety of treatment options can ease the pain. Three of the most common treatments are:
- Pain medications
- Hormone therapy
Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological diseases, affecting around 176 million women worldwide.
Youth reviewer: Trinh Tran
Reviewed by: Sharanjit Dosanjh, R.N.
Last reviewed: October 2019