Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells (endometrial cells) similar to those that form the inside or lining the tissue of the uterus, but in a location outside of the uterus. Endometrial cells are the lining cells of the uterus and are cells that are shed each month during menstruation. Endometriosis is more common in women who are experiencing infertility than in fertile women, but the condition does not necessarily cause infertility.
Endometriosis occurs when cells like the lining of the uterus grow in or on tissues outside the uterus; these areas are called endometriosis implants. These implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. They can also be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder, although less commonly than other locations in the pelvis. Rarely, endometriosis implants can occur outside the pelvis, on the liver, in old surgery scars, and even in or around the lung or brain.
Pain in your lower belly before and during your period.
Cramps for a week or 2 before and during your period.
Cramps may be steady and range from dull to severe.
Pain during or following sexual intercourse.
Pain with bowel movements.
Pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time.
Transvaginal ultrasound Pelvic laparoscopy
Pain medications: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen (Aleve, others)
Hormone therapy: Supplemental hormones are sometimes effective in reducing or eliminating the pain of endometriosis. Hormone medication may slow the growth and prevent new implants of endometrial tissue.
Conservative surgery: If you have endometriosis and are trying to become pregnant, surgery to remove as much endometriosis as possible while preserving your uterus and ovaries (conservative surgery) may increase your chances of success. Assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, to help you become pregnant are sometimes preferable to conservative surgery.
Hysterectomy: In severe cases of endometriosis, surgery to remove the uterus and cervix (total hysterectomy) as well as both ovaries may be the best treatment.