You may be wondering, “What is endometriosis?”
Endometriosis is a chronic disorder in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, the endometrium, grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis typically also involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis.
During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the displaced endometrial tissue continues to thicken, break down, and bleed. However, the problem occurs when displaced endometrial tissue has no path to exit the body and it becomes trapped. The cause of and cure for endometriosis has yet to be discovered, but a variety of treatment options exist to manage symptoms.
Endometriosis and Fertility
While there is no specific treatment for endometriosis, Aspire Fertility can help with the difficulties that may arise on your fertility journey. It’s common to have impaired fertility, but our physicians will develop an individualized fertility treatment plan that is specific to your needs and focused on increasing pregnancy success.
Symptoms and Risk Factors for Endometriosis
The most prevalent symptom is pelvic pain that occurs while women are on their menstrual period. Common signs may include painful periods, pain during intercourse, pain during bowel movements or urination, excessive bleeding during or in between periods or other gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
The severity of the pain does not equate to the severity of the condition. Some women have mild cases with extreme pain and others have severe cases with little to no pain. Surgery is currently the only way to obtain a formal diagnosis of endometriosis.
Endometriosis Risk Factors
Several factors increase the risk of developing endometriosis:
- Early start of menstrual cycle
- Delayed menopause
- Short duration in menstrual cycles—less than 27 days
- Never giving birth
- High estrogen levels
- Low BMI
- Alcohol consumption
- Family history of endometriosis
- Any medical condition that prevents the normal passage of menstrual flow out of the body
- Abnormalities of the uterus
Should I See a Doctor for Endometriosis?
It is a good idea to see your doctor if you have symptoms that may indicate endometriosis. If you would like to consult with our fertility experts about any complications that may arise from endometriosis, please contact us if you have any questions or need support.