Endometriosis is a condition in which cells that normally line the inside of the uterus (endometrial cells) grow in areas outside the uterus. These abnormal cells can be found in other pelvic organs including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, colon, rectum, or along the lining of the pelvis. Although this condition can cause significant problems, it is not malignant (cancer). Many women with endometriosis are completely without symptoms but for others, quality of life can be seriously affected. It is one of the most common causes of chronic pelvic pain and menstrual cramps. By causing adhesions in the pelvis and blockage of fallopian tubes it is also a leading cause of infertility.

Endometriosis can become symptomatic at any age during the reproductive years. It is more common in women who have delayed pregnancy until later years and is rarely seen after menopause. Women with a history of taking oral or hormonal methods of contraception appear to have a lower incidence of the disease. A careful history can often raise suspicion regarding the presence of endometriosis, however a minor outpatient surgical procedure called laparoscopy is usually required to confirm the condition. There is no blood test for it.

Once discovered, endometriosis can be treated in different ways depending on the individual patients’ symptoms and/or her desire for future pregnancy.

Often, a complete cure can result If you are having worsening menstrual cramps that requiring over-the-counter medications and cause you to sometimes miss work or school, if you have pain during intercourse or have not been able to become pregnant after trying for over 1 year, call us for a thorough history and gynecologic evaluation. You may be suffering from endometriosis.

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