Posted: October 21, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY

Understanding Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a very common condition in women. Unfortunately, it is chronic, often painful and typically gets worse over time. With treatment the condition can become less painful and easier to live with.

Here are the facts about endometriosis:

A woman develops endometriosis when the lining of the uterus extends to other organs. This happens when a microscopic amount of tissue leaves the uterus and grows in other areas. These areas commonly include the ovaries, outer walls of the uterus, fallopian tubes and the ligaments that support the uterus in addition to the space between the rectum and uterus and the area between the uterus and bladder. In rare and very serious cases this tissue can also spread to the abdomen and lungs.

When the tissue is in the uterus (as it is designed to be) it is shed monthly and responds to hormones with the cycle. When it travels to other organs in the body however the blood can’t escape. The surrounding tissue then becomes irritated resulting in cysts, scars and even the fusing of tissues.

The cause of endometriosis is still unknown but researchers have discovered that it does run in families. Unfortunately, it may lead to fertility issues in women. Another known fact is that it appears to impact women with short menstrual cycles rather than their peers with longer, heavier periods. It’s difficult to identify those who will have the most pain from the condition. Doctors have tried measuring the size of the lesions in order to see if that has an impact on overall pain but no such connection has been found.

What is also unclear is why this condition impacts fertility . It’s believed that the escaped tissue may interrupt ovulation by blocking eggs from moving naturally through the fallopian tubes.

Once diagnosed, there is no cure for endometriosis but with treatment pain and even infertility may be treated. There are two main factors which will steer your course of treatment – your desire to become pregnant and your pain level. For some women living with endometriosis, there is relatively no pain. Pregnancy and menopause often lead to improvement on their own.

For women who have pain or frequent bleeding and aren’t currently trying to get pregnant, birth control or anti-inflammatories can make a big difference. Also, research has shown that emergency contraception may help shrink the size of the fibroids.

Other treatment options include surgery and infertility treatment.