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Endometriosis

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the type of tissue that forms the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside the uterus.

What are symptoms of endometriosis?
The most common symptom of endometriosis is chronic (long-term) pelvic pain, especially just before and during the menstrual period. Pain also may occur during sex. If endometrosis is present on the bowel, pain during bowel movements can occur. If it affects the bladder, pain may be felt during urination. Heavy menstrual bleeding is another symptom of endometriosis. Many women with endometriosis have no symptoms.

How is endometriosis diagnosed?
A health care provider first may do physical exam, including a pelvic exam. However the only way to tell for sure that you have endometriosis is through a surgical procedure called laparoscopy. Sometimes a small amount of tissue is removed during the procedure. This is called a biopsy.

How is endometriosis treated?
Treatment for endometriosis depends on the extent of the disease, your symptoms, and whether you want to have children. Endometriosis may be treatmetn with medication, surgery or both. When pain is the primary problem, medication usually is tried first.