Endometriosis is an often painful medical condition in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus also grows outside of it. Endometriosis most commonly involves the ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining the pelvis. With each menstrual period, the implants go through the same development (thickening, bleeding and breaking down); however, if an implant grows in a sensitive area, it can cause persistent pain or pain during certain activities such as exercise, intercourse, or bowel movements. This is why most women believe that the pain they are experiencing is simply a normal part of their menstrual period when in fact there are experiencing endometriosis. Though there is no cure, effective treatments are available to help relieve symptoms of endometriosis.



Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis may include:

  • Pelvic pain/ Painful menstrual periods
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination
  • Heavy periods or bleeding between periods
  • Infertility
  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Nausea



With endometriosis, the tissue that positions the uterus also grows outside the uterus. The clumps of tissue called implants can grow on the ovaries or fallopian tubes, the outer wall of the uterus, the intestines or other areas of the body. The implants go through the same course of action with each menstrual cycle: breaking down and bleeding of the uterine lining. This is why endometriosis pain may start as mild pain and discomfort a few days before the menstrual period and is gone by the time the menstrual period ends. However, if the implants develop in a sensitive area, it can lead to pain, swelling and sometimes fertility problems. Although the exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, several factors that are thought to be possible triggers include:

  • Retrograde menstruation: The backward movement of menstrual fluids through the fallopian tubes and into the peritoneal cavity
  • Embryonic cell growth: The growth of the cells lining the abdominal and pelvic cavities
  • Endometrial cells transport: the transportation of endometrial cells by blood vessels or tissue fluid system within the body
  • Hysterectomy or C-section surgeries 
  • Immune system disorder


Risk factors 

Several factors that are associated with the risk of developing endometriosis include:

  • Never having given birth
  • Genetics
  • History of pelvic infection
  • Uterine abnormalities
  • Certain medical conditions that prevent the normal passage of menstrual flow



Complications that can arise from endometriosis include:

  • Infertility: Endometriosis may obstruct the tube and keep the egg and sperm from uniting
  • Ovarian cancer: Ovarian cancer does occur at higher than expected rates in women with endometriosis