Endometriosis is a painful inflammatory condition in which tissue similar to uterine tissue (endometrium) grows in other parts of the body that is said to affect more than 11% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44. Typically, with endometriosis, this tissue ends up infiltrating areas such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel, and even the bladder.
What Happens Inside The Body
Just as our uterine lining bleeds and swells during menstruation, so do the growths associated with endometriosis. Unlike the tissue lining the uterus which is expelled during your period, however, endometrial tissue located elsewhere in the body does not have the same ability to evacuate each month.
This means that this tissue has the potential to cause painful swelling in all of the areas that it is present. In addition to causing inflammation in the body, this tissue can also potentially block fallopian tubes, cause pelvic pain, create ovarian cysts, form scar tissue, and can eventually lead to difficulty conceiving.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain tied to your menstrual cycle, typically described as being more severe and as getting worse with time than typical period pain. Additional symptoms include painful Intercourse, bowel movements and urination, excessive menstrual bleeding, infertility, fatigue, nausea and bloating.
Surgery is the only true way to determine if you have endometriosis. Although your doctor can diagnose you with endometriosis by visualizing your growths, taking tissue samples will allow them to study the endometrial tissue in depth.