What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is an often-painful disorder where tissue that normally resides inside your uterus — the “endometrium” — grows outside your uterus – typically on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue that lines your pelvis.


This displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would – it thickens, breaks down, and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. This can cause inflammation, swelling, and scarring to occur, which can cause pain.

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The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often severe, usually before and during your period. Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis may include:


  • Painful periods
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination
  • Excessive bleeding (during and between periods)
  • Infertility


However, many women with endometriosis have no symptoms.


Treatment for endometriosis is usually with medications, surgery, or both. The approach will depend on the severity of your signs and symptoms and whether you hope to become pregnant.

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