Skip links

Endometriosis: What You Need to Know

Endometriosis: What You Need to Know

Endometriosis is derived from the word “endometrium”, which is the tissue that lines the uterus. Patients with endometriosis have endometrial-type tissue outside of the uterus.

A woman’s uterus is lined with endometrial tissue. This lining is called the endometrium. Your body grows a new endometrium with each menstrual cycle to prepare for a fertilized egg. Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus.
Endometriosis most often occurs on or around reproductive organs in the pelvis or abdomen, including:
More rarely, it can also grow on and around the:
Endometrial tissue growing in these areas does not shed during a menstrual cycle like healthy endometrial tissue inside the uterus does. The buildup of abnormal tissue outside the uterus can lead to inflammation, scarring and painful cysts. It can also lead to buildup of fibrous tissues between reproductive organs that causes them to “stick” together.
Causes of Endometriosis:
Doctors do not know exactly what causes endometriosis, but there are a few theories of what might cause it:
The most common signs of endometriosis are pain and infertility. Endometriosis pain typically presents as:
Symptoms of Endometriosis:
Other Symptoms may include:
Risk Factors:
Each person’s experience with endometriosis is different. Women with endometriosis may have some of these symptoms, all of these symptoms or none of them. Having severe pain or other symptoms is not necessarily a sign of more severe endometriosis.
Research shows that there are some things that put a person at higher risk of developing endometriosis, including having:
Some things that can lower the risk of endometriosis include:
Endometriosis Prevention:
Endometriosis is an idiopathic condition, meaning there is no known cause. There are also no specific ways to prevent endometriosis. However, being aware of the symptoms and whether you could be at higher risk can help you know when to discuss it with a doctor.
Endometriosis and Infertility:

Endometriosis is one of the most common conditions linked to female infertility. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine found that 24% to 50% of women with infertility have endometriosis. Mild to moderate cases of endometriosis may only cause temporary infertility. Surgery to remove the endometrial tissue can help a woman become pregnant.
Doctors don’t know exactly how endometriosis affects fertility. Scar tissue from endometriosis may affect the release of eggs from the ovaries or block the path of the egg through the fallopian tube so it cannot get to the uterus. Endometriosis may also damage sperm or fertilized eggs before they implant in the uterus.
Many women with endometriosis or endometriosis-related infertility can still get pregnant and carry a successful pregnancy. There are treatment options, including In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), that may help women become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about your fertility goals when discussing your endometriosis treatment plan.

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.