Endometriosis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside of it. It most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining your pelvis.

Rarely, endometriosis may occur in other parts of your body, such as your lungs, brain, or skin. Its symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Some people with endometriosis have no symptoms at all, while others have mild or severe symptoms.

It’s estimated that endometriosis affects more than 11 percent of American women between the ages of 15 and 44. It’s one of the most common reasons why women have surgery to remove their reproductive organs.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain that gets worse during your period.

Other endometriosis symptoms include:

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
  • Pelvic pain during sex
  • Pain with urination or bowel movements
  • Excessive bleeding during periods
  • Infertility

Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)

One of the most common symptoms of endometriosis is pelvic pain. It usually starts around the time of your period and gets worse as your period progresses.

Some women have such mild pelvic pain that they don’t even notice it. Others have pain so severe that it interferes with their daily activities.

Pelvic pain during sex

Another common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain during sex. This can be caused by the endometrial tissue rubbing against your pelvic bones or ovarian cysts pressing on your pelvis.

Pain with urination or bowel movements

Endometriosis can also cause pain when you urinate or have a bowel movement. This is usually caused by the endometrial tissue pressing on your bladder or rectum.

Excessive bleeding during periods

Endometriosis can cause heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Some women with endometriosis also have anemia, which can cause fatigue.


Endometriosis is one of the most common causes of infertility. It’s estimated that 30-50% of women with endometriosis are infertile. The good news is that there are treatments available that can help improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Causes of  Endometriosis

The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown.

There is no single cause of endometriosis, but it seems to be influenced by a combination of factors. These include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Immune system problems
  • Family history
  • Uterine abnormalities

Hormonal changes:

Endometriosis is influenced by estrogen, the hormone that regulates your menstrual cycle. The condition is more common in women who have never given birth and in those who have irregular periods or early onset menopause.

Immune system problems:

Women with endometriosis may have a problem with their immune system that prevents their body from fighting off abnormal tissue growth.

Family history:

If you have a relative with endometriosis, you’re more likely to develop the condition yourself.

Uterine abnormalities:

Certain uterine conditions, such as retroverted uterus, may be a factor in the development of endometriosis.

Treatments for Endometriosis

There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatments that can help relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. These include:

  • Pain medication
  • Hormone therapy
  • Surgery

Pain medication:

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve mild pelvic pain. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger pain medications if over-the-counter drugs don’t work.

Hormone therapy:

Hormone therapy can help reduce the amount of endometrial tissue growth. This can be done with birth control pills, patches, or shots.


Surgery is an effective treatment for endometriosis, but it’s usually only recommended for women who have severe pain or infertility. There are two types of surgery used to treat endometriosis: laparoscopic surgery and hysteroscopy.

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove the endometrial tissue. Hysteroscopy is a procedure used to remove the endometrial tissue through the cervix.

Risk Factors for Endometriosis

There are several risk factors for endometriosis, including:

  • Early onset of periods
  • Long menstrual cycles
  • Family history of endometriosis
  • Never giving birth
  • Certain uterine abnormalities

Early onset of periods:

Women who start their periods at an early age (before age 12) are more likely to develop endometriosis.

Long menstrual cycles:

Women with long menstrual cycles (longer than 27 days) are also more likely to develop endometriosis.

Family history of endometriosis:

If you have endometriosis, your next generation is more likely to develop the condition too.

Never giving birth:

Women who have never given birth are more likely to develop endometriosis. This may be because pregnancy reduces the amount of estrogen in your body, which can help prevent the growth of endometrial tissue.

Certain uterine abnormalities:

Certain conditions, such as retroverted uterus, may increase your risk of developing endometriosis.

Endometriosis can be a painful and frustrating condition, but there are treatments available that can help improve your symptoms.


We hope this article has helped you better understand endometriosis and its treatments. We covered the possible causes, risk factors, and symptoms of endometriosis.

Moreover we also discussed the different treatment options available. If you think you may have endometriosis, talk to your doctor about your symptoms and treatment options.

Thanks for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

Endometriosis is usually diagnosed by a combination of symptoms, physical examination, and imaging tests.

Can endometriosis be prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent endometriosis, but maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking may help lower your risk.

What are the long-term effects of endometriosis?

The long-term effects of endometriosis can vary depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, it may lead to infertility or chronic pain.

How does endometriosis affect fertility?

Endometriosis can affect fertility by causing the formation of scar tissue or adhesions in the pelvis. This can block the fallopian tubes or make it difficult for the egg to travel to the uterus.

Is endometriosis fatal?

No, endometriosis is not fatal. However, it can cause chronic pain and infertility.

What is the difference between endometriosis and fibroids?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus. Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus. Endometriosis can cause fertility problems, but fibroids usually do not.

How does endometriosis affect pregnancy?

Endometriosis does not typically affect pregnancy, but it can cause fertility problems. If you have endometriosis and are trying to get pregnant, talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

Where can I get more information about endometriosis?

For more information about endometriosis, talk to your doctor or contact a local support group. You can also find more information online at the Endometriosis Association or the National Endometriosis Society.

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