Endometriosis is a condition resulting from the growth of endometrial tissue that normally lines the uterus growing elsewhere in the body. In most cases the tissue is found in the abdomen growing around the ovaries. It can be found in many other places, but almost always in the pelvic region.

Often there are no symptoms at all. But when they occur they can be painful. The most common and easily identified symptom is some form of pain. The following can be signs of endometriosis:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Dyspareunia (Painful sex)
  • Painful urination or bowel movements
  • Lower back pain
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Intense menstrual cramping
  • Irregular menstruation

The type, amount, or frequency of pain doesn't indicate the scale or progression of endometriosis. Many advanced stages can produce little or no pain, while other cases of severe cramping or pain can be produced by fairly small occurrences of endometriosis in an early stage. It is because of this that it is important to have regular screenings and check-ups. The cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is no cure, but several treatment options are available that can offer alleviation or elimination of symptoms. Depending on the location and progression, endometriosis can help be controlled by a combination of hormone therapy, medication and, in some cases, surgical procedures. 

Your doctor will work with you one-on-one to make sure you understand all the options that are available to you and your best course of endometriosis treatment.