Endometriosis can cause pain — sometimes severe — especially during your period. Fertility problems also may develop. Fortunately, effective treatments are available.
Painful periods (dysmenorrhea): Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into your period and may include lower back and abdominal pain.
Pain with intercourse: Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
Pain with bowel movements or urination: You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.
Excessive bleeding: You may experience occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia).
Infertility: Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
Retrograde menstruation: This is the most likely explanation for endometriosis. In retrograde menstruation, menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of out of the body. These displaced endometrial cells stick to the pelvic walls and surfaces of pelvic organs, where they grow and continue to thicken and bleed over the course of each menstrual cycle.
Embryonic cell growth: The cells lining the abdominal and pelvic cavities come from embryonic cells. When one or more small areas of the abdominal lining turn into endometrial tissue, endometriosis can develop.
Surgical scar implantation: After a surgery, such as a hysterectomy or C-section, endometrial cells may attach to a surgical incision.
Endometrial cells transport: The blood vessels or tissue fluid (lymphatic) system may transport endometrial cells to other parts of the body.
Immune system disorder: It’s possible that a problem with the immune system may make the body unable to recognize and destroy endometrial tissue that’s growing outside the uterus.
Laparoscopy: Medical management is usually tried first. But to be certain you have endometriosis, you have to undergo Laparoscopy that can provide information about the location, extent and size of the endometrial implants to help determine the best treatment options.
Treatment for endometriosis is usually with medications or surgery. The approach will depend on the severity of the signs and symptoms and whether you hope to become pregnant.
In case of infertility Assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, to help you become pregnant are most of the time is best medical choice. Doctors often suggest one of these approaches if conservative surgery is ineffective.
Doctors sometimes advise women with endometriosis not to delay having children because the condition may worsen with time.