Endometriosis—Symptoms and Treatment Options

Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. The displaced tissue thickens, breaks down, and bleeds with each menstrual cycle; however, because the tissue has no way of exiting the body, it becomes trapped. Surrounding tissues can become irritated and eventually develop into scar tissue. If endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts may form.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

  • Pelvic pain/painful periods
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination
  • Painful intercourse
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Nausea and bloating

What are the treatment options for endometriosis?

The treatment for endometriosis depends on the severity of your symptoms and whether you hope to become pregnant or not.

  • Pain medications
  • Hormone therapy
  • Conservative surgery to remove endometrial tissue while preserving the uterus and ovaries
  • Hysterectomy in severe cases of endometriosis and considered a last resort

Discovering endometriosis early may help you avoid complications and unnecessary pain. It is important to talk to your doctor about any signs or symptoms you may have.