Endometriosis is a more common condition than most people would believe. Endometriosis will often go completely undetected until a patient experiences pelvic pain or has issues related to infertility.
The growth of endometrial tissue (or uterine lining) on the outside of the uterus or on adjacent organs, is called endometriosis. The leading theory of why it occurs is during a woman’s menstrual cycle, flow also goes backwards through the fallopian tubes into the pelvic and abdominal cavity. Although this occurs naturally with every woman, only some will develop endometriosis. To date there is no good explanation for it. Specific reasons for the cause of pain associated with this disease are unknown as well.
Researchers think that Endometriosis affects at least 10 percent of women of childbearing age (15 to 45), or about 6.5 million women in the United States. Endometriosis most likely affects many more who don’t know they have it, according to the National Institute of Health.
Endometriosis treatments may include surgery or medication, but there no known cure at this time. The symptoms of endometriosis get better after menopause, confirming that it is an estrogen-dependent disease. This may affect fertility in many ways. Lesions or scars that develop from endometriosis can damage the reproductive organs. Some lesions can block the fallopian tubes due to scarring, preventing the fallopian tubes from receiving an egg after ovulation. Lesions also can make it hard for the fertilized egg to pass through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Endometriosis may also change the egg quality, but researchers have not discovered the mechanism of it.
At Reproductive Medicine Institute, we offer patients with endometriosis personalized treatment options. If you are looking to start a family now or want to prepare for the future, the providers at RMI are the experts in the field of Reproductive Medicine.