One in 10 women in the United States are affected by endometriosis. But
many people don’t really know about or understand the condition.
Let’s change that.
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Get to know the facts about this
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that typically grows inside the uterus, called the
endometrium, instead grows outside of it.
Where this tissue grows differs from woman to woman, but most commonly grows
on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and in other areas of the pelvis.
While this tissue is growing in an abnormal location, it still acts as
if it’s growing in the uterus. That means during a
woman’s menstrual cycle, the tissue thickens and then breaks down.
But there’s one big difference—it has no way to exit the body,
so it’s trapped and leads to serious health issues for women.
Read on for four other facts about endometriosis.
Endometriosis Fact 1: Symptoms Vary
Women experiencing endometriosis can have a wide variety of symptoms, with
severe pain being the most common.
This pain typically occurs in the abdomen, pelvis, and back. Other common
symptoms include heavy menstrual periods and cramping. Pain may be more
severe during sexual intercourse or when using the restroom.
Fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and vomiting are also among common symptoms.
Endometriosis Fact 2: Any Woman With a Period Can Be Affected
Females of any age can be impacted by endometriosis. But statistics indicate
that the condition is most common among women who are in their 30s and 40s.
The U.S. Office on Women’s Health offers up other factors that may
increase a woman’s risk of developing the condition, including a
family history of endometriosis, never having children, a history of menstrual
cycles shorter than 27 days, and a history of periods lasting seven days
Endometriosis Fact 3: Cysts May Be a Factor
We mentioned above that the ovaries are an area where endometriosis-related
tissue commonly grows. Because of this, cysts can form on the ovaries,
leading to pain and discomfort.
Another painful type of growth, called an adhesion, is also common among
those with endometriosis. The condition irritates tissue outside of the
uterus, which can lead to scar tissue that makes the tissue and organs
Endometriosis Fact 4: Help Is Available
Treatment options vary depending on a woman’s specific needs, including
whether she is trying to conceive.
For women who are trying to conceive, doctors often prescribe medication
that stops the body from ovulating temporarily. After a length of time,
a woman goes off the medication and the menstrual cycle returns.
In cases of severe endometriosis, surgical removal of tissue or even surgical
removal of the uterus and cervix may be necessary for relief.
If you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, talk
with your doctor. Need a doctor? Find one with Saint Francis Healthcare.