What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus (endometrium) is found outside the uterus.may grow on the outside of a woman’s uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder or even intestines, interfering with the fertilization process or an embryo’s growth thus causing infertility. The prevalence of endometriosis is unknown because many women do not experience symptoms.

Endometriosis and fertility

Endometriosis is found in 35% of women experiencing difficulty conceiving and that have no other diagnosed cause of their infertility.  Endometriosis is known to impact fertility by affecting the immune system, changing hormonal balances, affecting the quality of a woman’s eggs, or impairing implantation of a fertilized egg.

Causes of endometriosis

Endometriosis is the spread of the endometrium beyond the uterus. It is not known why some women develop endometriosis, though estrogen is thought to be a factor.

Symptoms of endometriosis

Most women with endometriosis are asymptomatic and few know they even have endometriosis. Endometriosis can irritate the organs it touches, causing pain and adhesions (scar tissue) to these organs. The most common symptom is pelvic pain or cramps, which intensify during a woman’s period, and may be severe enough to cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Treatment for endometriosis

Endometriosis can be diagnosed by a simple outpatient procedure called laparoscopy. In less severe cases, endometriosis can surgically removed, allowing reproductive organs to function normally and improve chances of pregnancy.  In severe cases, one or both ovaries may need to be removed.  Fertility preservation by egg freezing should be considered as a viable treatment for endometriosis.