What is Endometriosis?
- Created: April 1, 2013
- by: admin
Endometriosis is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems becoming pregnant.
Every month, a woman’s ovaries produce hormones that tell the cells lining the uterus to swell and get thicker. The body removes these extra cells from the womb lining (endometrium) when you get your period.
If these cells, called endometrial cells, implant and grow outside the uterus, endometriosis results. The growths are called endometrial tissue implants. Women with endometriosis typically have tissue implants on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and on the lining of the pelvic area. They can occur in other areas of the body, too.
Unlike the endometrial cells found in the uterus, the tissue implants outside the uterus stay in place when you get your period. They sometimes bleed a little bit. They grow again when you get your next period. This ongoing process leads to pain and other symptoms of endometriosis.
Endometriosis is common and can sometimes be mistaken for fibroids. Like fibroids, it may run in the family. Although endometriosis is typically diagnosed between ages 25 – 35, the condition probably begins about the time that regular menstruation begins.
The symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Painful periods
- Pain in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation
- Cramps for a week or two before menstruation and during menstruation (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 during the menstrual cycle
If you experience any of these symptoms call for an appointment with your health care provider if. You may also want to consider getting screened for endometriosis if your mother or sister has been diagnosed with endometriosis, or if you are unable to become pregnant after trying for 1 year.