Endometriosis is a medical condition in which tissue that is microscopically identical to tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (called the ‘endometrium’) grows outside of the uterus. It may involve the lining of the inside of the body (called the ‘peritoneum’), ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and/or intestines. Endometriosis has been found in all organs of the body except for the spleen! Endometriosis is classified into 4 stages: minimal, mild, moderate, and severe. Minimal and mild stages may present with superficial implants and mild scarring in the body while moderate and severe stages may present with ovarian cysts (called ‘endometriomata’) and/or severe scarring.
Patients with endometriosis may not have any symptoms. Typically, if symptoms do occur, then they may include pain during the menstrual period, pain with sex, pain during bowel movements, or pain during urination. Endometriosis may also cause infertility.
Endometriosis can only be diagnosed via surgery in which the gynecologic surgeon can inspect the pelvic organs and collect a biopsy that removes the disease and confirms the diagnosis. The exact cause of endometriosis is not entirely clear. Management options for endometriosis may include hormonal and non-hormonal medications for symptom management, surgery to diagnose and therapeutically remove the endometriosis, or a combination of both.
If you suspect you may have endometriosis, know you have endometriosis, or would like to discuss your treatment options, then please contact UCR Women’s Health at 844-827-8000, option 3.