Endometriosis is a painful disorder that 1 in 10 women suffer. With endometriosis, the tissue that lines the uterus, or endometrium, travels outside of the uterus. Endometriosis will then usually involve the fallopian tubes, ovaries and lining of the pelvis. In rare cases, it can spread outside of the organs in the pelvis.
Even though the endometrial tissue is outside of the uterus, it still responds to a woman's menstrual cycle just like the tissue that is inside of the uterus.
And, while the tissue within the uterus will flow out through the vagina, the tissue within the pelvic cavity has no outside route.
The result is internal bleeding, inflammation, and breakdown of blood and tissue from the endometrial growths. This can cause intense pain, scar tissue formation, bowel problems, adhesions and infertility. There is no known cause.
The most common symptoms of endometriosis are:
- Bowel problems
- intense pain during menstruation
- Pain during sex
- Long and severe menstrual periods
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, consult with your healthcare practitioner. The treatment for endometriosis usually involves medications or surgery.
The medications that usually prescribed are a pain killer, hormone therapy, and in severe cases, hysterectomy. Some women have reported finding relief from endometriosis symptoms using acupuncture.