What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is the event where tissue normally inside the uterus (endometrium) begins to grow outside of the uterus, the ovaries, intestines, and the lining of your pelvis cavity. This tissue grows normally as if it was inside your uterus, but it has no way of leaving your body and can form scar tissue and adhesions (abnormal tissue that binds organs together).
Symptoms include pelvic pain, painful periods, pain with intercourse, pain with bowel movements or urination, heavy bleeding, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, bloating, and infertility.
The cause for endometriosis is unknown, but there are many unproved theories. Researchers, however, have found it tends to run in families. Increased risk factors include never having given birth, if period starts before the age of 12, if there are uterine abnormalities, and a history of pelvic infections. Pregnancy can temporarily deter endometriosis, and permanently treat with menopause unless you take estrogen.
Treatment for endometriosis includes pain medication (NSAID’s), hormone therapy (reduce pain, reduce growth of endometrial tissue and bleeding), and surgery to remove tissue. A hysterectomy with or without removal of ovaries is considered the last resort. Complications of endometriosis are infertility, and ovarian cancer.

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