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What is Endometriosis?

Last updated 6 years ago

Studies show that approximately 70 million women and girls suffer from endometriosis across the globe. While some cases of endometriosis are genetically dictated, there are several other factors that may contribute to this condition.

What is Endometriosis?
A woman’s uterus is lined with endometrium tissue that swells and gets thicker to prepare the body for pregnancy; when pregnancy does not occur, this lining is shed from the body in what is known as a monthly period. Women with endometriosis have endometrium tissue present in areas outside of the uterus such as the tubes, ovaries, and peritoneal cavity, which often causes infertility and painful menstruation.

Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Painful or heavy periods
  • Abdominal pain or lower back pain before and during menstruation
  • Dull or severe cramping for 1-2 weeks prior to and during menstruation
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Pain during or after sexual intercourse

In some cases, women may not exhibit any symptoms of endometriosis until it has progressed to an advanced stage.

Causes and Risk Factors
Endometriosis can be linked to a number of risk factors, such as:

  • Having a mother or sister with endometriosis
  • Never having children
  • Starting menstrual cycles at an early age
  • Frequent menstrual cycles or those that last more than 7 days
  • A closed hymen that ultimately blocks the flow of blood during the menstrual cycle
  • History of pelvic inflammation or pelvic inflammatory disease

If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of endometriosis and are trying to conceive, then it may be time to consult with a fertility specialist. Contact the Fertility Centers of Illinois at (877) 499-8730 today to schedule a consultation.


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