About 1 out of every 10 girls and women lives with endometriosis, a painful condition in which the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus. Endometriosis growths often develop on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the outer surface of the uterus, and on the tissues that hold the uterus in place.
How Endometriosis Works
Typically, the endometrial lining thickens to prepare for a fertilized egg. If a woman becomes pregnant, this egg attaches to the endometrium and begins to grow. If a woman does not become pregnant, the endometrium breaks down and leaves the body as a menstrual period. The tissue that grows outside of the uterus as a result of endometriosis behaves just like the endometrium—that is, it swells then breaks down and bleeds during menstruation. This causes the pain associated with endometriosis.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Overwhelmingly, pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. However, the types of pain women can experience varies. This includes:
Allergies that get worse around the time of menstruation
Your Treatment Options
In addition to pain and other symptoms that affect a woman’s daily life, endometriosis can also lead to infertility or difficulty conceiving. While there is no cure for endometriosis, different treatments can help pain and infertility. Some of the treatments your doctor may suggest include medication, surgery to remove endometrial growths and scar tissue, and fertility therapy for infertile patients.