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How does a woman get endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, or endometrium, is found outside of the womb, where the tissue should not be. The result is inflammation, as the tissue responds to the monthly fluctuations of a woman's menstrual cycle. The disease affects an estimated million women worldwide, and many women often experience a decade-long delay in diagnosis. Currently, there is no known cause of endometriosis, and there is no cure.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Endometriosis

Endometriosis 101

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We use cookies on our website to analyze how people use it and improve the experience. You can read more about how we use cookies in our Privacy Policy , or manage your preferences here. Clue is on a mission to help you understand your body, periods, ovulation, and so much more. Start tracking today. Endometriosis is a disorder where endometrial-like tissue like that which lines the uterus is present in other parts of the body.

Until endometriosis is better understood, only the symptoms can be treated, and not the underlying causes. Management options include medications, surgery, and possibly lifestyle changes.

Endometrial tissue is the tissue that grows and sheds in the uterus. In most cases, this growth happens on and around organs in the pelvic cavity. The tissue in endometriosis acts similarly to that inside the uterus: it grows, thickens, and tries to shed with every menstrual cycle. Since the tissue has no way of leaving the body, it can cause adhesions, nodules, and lesions which trigger an inflammatory response 1.

This can lead to pain and other complications, like infertility 2. Endometriosis may affect about 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, though estimates vary widely and prevalence probably differs across populations 2, 3. Incidence may be lower in black and hispanic women, for example 4.

Others have symptoms for years, and visit several doctors, before being diagnosed 5. If you think you could have endometriosis, tracking your pain, bleeding and other symptoms in Clue can provide your healthcare provider with information that may help with diagnosis and in forming a treatment plan. Early treatment can reduce the risk of complications. The symptoms of endometriosis can begin in early adolescence, or show up later in adulthood 6.

Symptoms may occur at all times, or may be cyclical. Cyclical symptoms come and go around the same time each menstrual cycle, often occurring around the same time as menstruation. The symptoms and impact of endometriosis can vary based on where the tissue is located. Ovarian endometriosis, for example, is one type that can cause infertility. Pain in the abdomen, lower back, or thighs often lasting throughout the cycle. The reasons why endometrial-like tissue grows where it does in endometriosis are unknown.

It was originally thought that it was caused by uterine tissue flowing back through the fallopian tubes into the pelvic cavity ie. Also, some girls develop the condition before they reach menarche 6. One theory is that endometriosis could develop from endometrial cells traveling through blood vessels or the lymphatic system Another is that cells outside of the uterus might develop into endometrial cells Excess estrogen, genes and the immune system may all play a role in the development of this condition 14, There is evidence that endometriosis can be passed down through families This means a person may be more likely to have it if someone in their biological family does, too.

This may be because they have had more menstrual cycles on average, and more exposure to estrogen. Endometriosis is typically a progressive condition, meaning it can get worse over time Infertility is a common complication of endometriosis that may be avoidable with early treatment.

Up to half of those with endometriosis have decreased fertility Recent research has also found that people with endometriosis may be at higher risk of cardiovascular problems including heart disease and heart attacks This could be due to the levels of inflammation, fats, and oxidative stress seen in many people with endometriosis.

Early diagnosis can improve outcomes down the road. Early management can help reduce progression of the condition, reduce complications, and keep symptoms under control. Many people with endometriosis are treated based on their symptoms, without a formal diagnosis.

In other cases, an official diagnosis is done via a laparoscopy, a simple surgery. In this procedure, doctors make a small incision in the abdomen usually under 1. Small tissue samples may be collected, called biopsies. A healthcare provider will probably ask questions about your medical and menstrual history and perform a simple physical exam.

They will want to hear about pain symptoms and any issues with infertility or miscarriage. If the healthcare provider thinks endometriosis may be present, they may also perform:. A pelvic exam. It can be helpful to monitor your pain level and share this information with your healthcare provider. You might also try talking to someone who specializes in gynecology or endometriosis.

Being an advocate for oneself may help minimize the time it takes to get a diagnosis in people with the condition. Endometriosis usually lasts many years, but the symptoms are manageable with treatment.

How endometriosis is treated will depend on the symptoms and goals of each person. Goals might be to feel less pain, or to become pregnant. Medications: If someone experiences pain from endometriosis, a healthcare provider will often suggest a NSAID — an over-the-counter pain medication. Hormonal medications are also often prescribed as an early approach Other medications that affect the hormones may also be prescribed if first-line approaches are not sufficient: GnRH antagonists prevent ovulation and may stop the thickening and shedding of some endometrial tissue 33, Surgery: In some cases, a doctor might suggest a laparoscopy to explore and surgically remove or destroy problematic tissue.

This can help with symptoms, and improve fertility Doctors may perform laparoscopic excision or ablation. Excision consists of cutting away problematic tissue, while ablation consists of burning away the tissue through cauterization or a laser.

There is a lot of debate about which method is better for which stage of the condition. A review found that both methods may have advantages for treating certain symptoms Surgery leads to symptom relief in most people with mild or moderate endometriosis, but is not always effective and recurrence and the need for further surgical procedures is common over time Surgery also carries its own risks which need to be weighed against potential benefits.

A hysterectomy does not effectively treat endometriosis in all cases, but has lower retreatment rates than other surgeries, especially when ovaries are removed Lifestyle changes: Some people consider alternative treatments for their symptoms. These include physical exercise, diet changes, and acupuncture Unfortunately, there is still little research and a lack of evidence for the effectiveness of many of these approaches.

Only one study of 24 met the criteria for inclusion in a review on acupuncture for pain in endometriosis, and did find an improvement in painful menstruation especially when severe , but more high quality research is needed You can learn more by checking out the work and initiatives of Clue research collaborator Noemie Elhadad, and colleagues, from Columbia University: Citizen Endo is a research project led by the Department of Biomedical Informatics in partnership with patients to better understand endometriosis.

They've published on endometriosis and self-tracking and collected experience stories of women with the disease. If you menstruate, you might be concerned about how the COVID epidemic could impact your cycle or access to period All hormonal contraceptives are associated with changes in menstrual bleeding patterns. We looked into the research to find out about the side effects, risks, and benefits of the implant, the intrauterine Is it painful to have an IUD inserted?

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Symptoms & causes

Phone: Endometriosis is a disorder where the tissue that makes up the uterine lining the lining of the womb grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis is usually found in the lower abdomen, or pelvis, but can appear anywhere in the body. Women with endometriosis often have lower abdominal pain, pain with periods, or pain with sexual intercourse, and may report having a hard time getting pregnant.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG reports that about one out of every 10 women of a reproductive age suffer from endometriosis. Despite these eye-widening statistics, many are unfamiliar with endometriosis. Before your period, the hormone estrogen causes the internal lining of the uterus—known as the endometrium—to thicken.

It occurs when tissue from the uterine lining implants outside the uterus but grows and acts like the uterine lining and sheds during the menstrual cycle. Woman with endometriosis may present with infertility, heavy periods, painful periods, and abdominal pain. Endometriosis is generally considered a long lasting disease. If you have endometriosis, the implants build up with the regular endometrial tissue, and break down when you have your period.

What to know about endometriosis

All A-Z health topics. View all pages in this section. The javascript used in this widget is not supported by your browser. Please enable JavaScript for full functionality. Endometriosis happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus womb grows outside of the uterus. Several different treatment options can help manage the symptoms and improve your chances of getting pregnant. Endometriosis, sometimes called "endo," is a common health problem in women.


Endometriosis symptoms usually subside after menopause, but not always. And they are sometimes related to other health problems. Crippling menstrual cramps, gastrointestinal problems, and pain during sex are among the most common and distressing symptoms of endometriosis, a gynecological disorder that affects as many as 1 in 10 women. The disease occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus the endometrium shows up on the walls of the abdominal cavity and the outer surfaces of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel, bladder, and nearby organs. Rarely, endometriosis appears in the heart, lungs, and brain.

Governor Hogan announced that health care institutions in Maryland can start performing elective surgical cases in guidance with the State Department of Health. Learn what Johns Hopkins is doing.

It occurs when endometrial implants, comprised of tissue normally found within the uterus, are present in other areas of the body. As the tissue continues to thicken, break down, respond to menstrual cycle hormones, and bleed during the menstrual cycle, endometriosis forms deep inside the body. Endometriosis is thought to affect around 11 percent of women in the United States aged between 15 and 44 years. Endometrial tissue consists of gland, blood cells, and connective tissue.

Endometriosis: The disease impacting 176 million women

Back to Health A to Z. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It's a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life, but there are treatments that can help. The symptoms of endometriosis can vary.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: I Have Endometriosis

Our website uses cookies, which are small text files that are intended to make the site better for you to use, and that help us understand how people interact with our content so that we can make it better. You can find out more details about Clue's approach to privacy by reading our Privacy Policy. These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in, or filling in forms. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information. The Clue website uses third-party analysis and tracking services to track the performance of our services, understand how you use our services, and offer you an improved experience.

What Is Endometriosis? Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

It affects these women and girls during the prime of their lives and through no personal failing in lifestyle choices. About half of women with endometriosis will also suffer from pain associated with sexual intercourse. Access to timely diagnosis and treatment for this large population of women and girls should not be impacted by the myths and mis-conceptions that, unfortunately, remain at large. If pain interferes with your day-to-day life, please seek help and ask to be investigated to determine the cause of your pain. Far too many doctors still believe that endometriosis is rare in teenagers and young women. Unfortunately, this belief is a carry-over from earlier times. Before the introduction of laparoscopy in the s, endometriosis could only be diagnosed during a laparotomy, major surgery involving a 10—15 cm incision into the abdomen. The risks and costs of a laparotomy meant it was usually done only as a last resort in women with the most severe symptoms who were past childbearing age.

The symptoms of endometriosis vary. Some women experience mild symptoms, but others can have moderate to severe symptoms. The severity of your pain.

Endometriosis occurs when cells similar to those that line the uterus are found in other parts of the body, commonly a woman's pelvic and reproductive organs. Endometriosis, pronounced end-o-me-tree-oh-sis or just endo , is a progressive, chronic condition where cells similar to those that line the uterus the endometrium are found in other parts of the body. It most commonly occurs in the pelvis and can affect a woman's reproductive organs. Studies suggest that endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, with an estimated million women worldwide having the condition. Endometrial cells found outside the uterus grow to form lesions or patches that bleed and leak fluid in response to your hormones at the time of the period.

Endometriosis occurs when bits of the tissue that lines the uterus endometrium grow on other pelvic organs, such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes. Outside the uterus, endometrial tissue thickens and bleeds, just as the normal endometrium does during the menstrual cycle. Endometriosis en-doe-me-tree-O-sis is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus.

Endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb the endometrium is found outside the womb. Most of them are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and Endometriosis is a long-term chronic condition. Symptoms can vary significantly from person to person, and some women have no symptoms at all.





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