Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that lines the uterus begins to form outside the uterus, on the ovaries or fallopian tubes, or on the intestines or other vital organs. Whenever a woman with endometriosis has her menstrual, this tissue grows and sheds just like the lining of the uterus, causing pain and discomfort. This waste has no way to leave the body, becoming trapped and possibly developing into cysts or scar tissue.
Women who have never given birth, have a family history of the disease, or other menstrual irregularities are at a greater risk of developing endometriosis.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is abdominal and pelvic pain that usually correlates with a woman's period. Pain may also appear during or after sexual intercourse and during bowel movements or urination. Women also usually have heavy periods, bleeding in between periods, or infertility issues. Less common and less specific symptoms that women can experience include feeling tired bloating, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
Because some of the symptoms are non-specific, endometriosis can sometimes be mistaken for pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, or irritable bowel syndrome.
Usually, a doctor will prescribe medication or surgery in order to treat endometriosis. Simple over-the-counter pain relievers are often recommended, as these can help to relieve symptoms and ease the pain.
Doctors may also recommend hormonal therapy as this can help slow the growth and breakdown of this stray uterine tissue. This treatment only is a temporary fix and does not permanently fix the problem.
The only way to permanently fix endometriosis is through surgery, which is often recommended if a woman wants to become pregnant or has severe pain. This procedure is typically done laparoscopically or through traditional abdominal surgery.
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