Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

What Is Endometriosis?Endometriosis

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease that affects your reproductive organs and monthly menstrual cycle. It can cause cramps and pain during your periods or pelvic pain throughout the month. If you have this disease and it is not treated, your health can be affected. But, with early diagnosis and treatment, endometriosis can be managed.

Cutaway view of uterus
The Endometrium lines the uterus. It thickens with blood every month.

Understanding Endometriosis

If you have endometriosis, endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus in the pelvic cavity. During your menstrual cycle, this extra tissue swells with blood along with the normal tissue in your uterus. The tissue may also release tiny drops of blood. The swelling and blood irritate nearby tissues, causing pain and cramps. Constant irritation may cause scar tissue to form. This scar tissue can bind organs together and cause trouble getting pregnant (infertility). 

Cutaway view of uterus
With endometriosis, endometrial tissue grows throughout your pelvic cavity.

Common Symptoms

If you have endometriosis, you may have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Cramps and menstrual pain

  • Pelvic pain

  • Pain during sexual intercourse

  • Trouble getting pregnant (infertility)

Treatment Options

Treatment may help relieve pain and restore fertility. Options include hormone therapy, surgery, or both. Medications may also help relieve some of your symptoms. Discuss these options with your doctor.

Endometriosis can cause pain during sex. Explore whether certain times of the month and certain positions are less painful for you.

Publication Source: Women's Health.gov

Online Source: Women's Health.gov

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2000-11-01T00:00:00-06:00

What Is Endometriosis?Endometriosis

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease that affects your reproductive organs and monthly menstrual cycle. It can cause cramps and pain during your periods or pelvic pain throughout the month. If you have this disease and it is not treated, your health can be affected. But, with early diagnosis and treatment, endometriosis can be managed.

Cutaway view of uterus
The Endometrium lines the uterus. It thickens with blood every month.

Understanding Endometriosis

If you have endometriosis, endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus in the pelvic cavity. During your menstrual cycle, this extra tissue swells with blood along with the normal tissue in your uterus. The tissue may also release tiny drops of blood. The swelling and blood irritate nearby tissues, causing pain and cramps. Constant irritation may cause scar tissue to form. This scar tissue can bind organs together and cause trouble getting pregnant (infertility). 

Cutaway view of uterus
With endometriosis, endometrial tissue grows throughout your pelvic cavity.

Common Symptoms

If you have endometriosis, you may have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Cramps and menstrual pain

  • Pelvic pain

  • Pain during sexual intercourse

  • Trouble getting pregnant (infertility)

Treatment Options

Treatment may help relieve pain and restore fertility. Options include hormone therapy, surgery, or both. Medications may also help relieve some of your symptoms. Discuss these options with your doctor.

Endometriosis can cause pain during sex. Explore whether certain times of the month and certain positions are less painful for you.

Publication Source: Women's Health.gov

Online Source: Women's Health.gov

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2000-11-01T00:00:00-06:00

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