What is endometriosis?

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Endometriosis refers to a medical condition that involves abnormal growth and formation of the endometrial lining of the uterus.  The abnormalities may in the form of overgrowth of the endometrial lining in areas outside the uterus. The tissue or lining of the uterus may also spread and adhere to other organs and structures near the uterus.  When this condition happens, pain may be experienced especially during menstruation.  The pain is mainly due to the adhesions of various organs and structures near the uterus. There are also some cases wherein abnormal growth or implants may develop because of endometriosis.  This is because the blood flow to the endometrial lining may be blocked by the resulting adhesions.  If the adhesions affect the ovaries and fallopian tubes, endometriosis may also cause infertility in women.

Women in their reproductive years are said to be more prone to developing endometriosis. There are also cases though those younger women may also develop this condition even before they menstruate. some experts also point to genetic factors in terms of developing this painful condition.  Aside from pain during menstruation, some women will also experience cramping and pain during sexual intercourse or when defecating.  In some cases, women will have heavier than normal menstrual flows. The most dreaded symptom of endometriosis is infertility.  Most often than not, many women will experience no symptoms of endometriosis until they get checked for their fertility problems.

Treatment for endometriosis typically involves surgery.  In modern times, less or non-invasive procedures like laparoscopic surgery are prescribed to remove the adhesions involving the endometrial lining and other organs or structures involved.  This procedure however does not necessarily last for a long time because endometriosis or the adhesions may develop again several months after the surgery.  For women with fertility issues, surgery is the only hope for them.  In severe cases, the entire uterus may be removed to ease severe symptoms of the disease but make the women sterile for life.

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