Endometriosis is a very common problem, and occurs when tissue that looks like endometrium (the tissue that normally is found inside the uterus or womb where babies would normally grow) is found outside of the uterus. About 3-4% of the population will have this, but not all of them will know that they have it.
Endometriosis can run in families, so a woman with endometriosis may very well find that her mother or sister has it. Her daughters may also have an increased risk of having endometriosis.
It is a very peculiar disease that can be related to many problems for women. Women with endometriosis can experience significant (or mild) pain, including pain with periods, pain with sex, or simply pain in the pelvis, in general. Less frequently pain can be related to bowel or bladder function. Those with endometriosis can also have significant anatomic distortion in the pelvis and associated infertility. Finally, since endometriosis can be found anywhere in the body it can be related to almost any problem you can imagine.
Because of all these interrelated issues it would be important for any woman with possible endometriosis to meet with her healthcare provider and have a complete review of her health history done, followed by a comprehensive physical evaluation. This might include a pelvic exam and ultrasound of the pelvis.
Once completed, it is time to consider whether there is a need to
intervene. Possible interventions might include medical treatments (such as oral contraceptives or Lupron), surgery to formally diagnose the endometriosis and treat it, or it may not require any treatment presently. It would also be important to consider fertility desires in this discussion.
It is very important to realize that endometriosis is often a recurrent problem and may require ongoing management.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only. If you have medical concerns, consult a physician or other healthcare professional.