Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places (outside the womb), such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

With endometriosis, the endometrial-like tissue (uterine tissue) thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. But because this tissue is not n the womb, it has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions — bands of fibrous tissue that can cause pelvic tissues and organs to stick to each other.

Endometriosis can cause pain — sometimes severe — especially during menstrual periods. Fertility problems also may develop. It's a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life, but fortunately there are treatments that can help.*

Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis 

The symptoms of endometriosis can vary. Some women are badly affected, while others might not have any noticeable symptoms.

Some common symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into a menstrual period. You may also have lower back and abdominal pain.
  • Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination. You're most likely to experience these symptoms during a menstrual period.
  • Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods (intermenstrual bleeding).
  • Infertility. Sometimes, endometriosis is first diagnosed in those seeking treatment for infertility.
  • Other signs and symptoms. You may experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.*

Does Endometriosis affect Fertility?

Endometriosis does not necessarily cause infertility but there is an association with fertility problems, although the cause is not fully established. Even with severe endometriosis, natural conception is still possible. It is estimated that 60-70% of those with endometriosis can get pregnant spontaneously.*

Due to a lack of research, the links between fertility and endometriosis are not fully known. In some cases it may be because the disease distorts the reproductive organs.*

Does Endometriosis cause problems in Pregnancy?

According to the Endometriosis U.K. there is scientific debate around whether issues or pregnancy complications are increased due to endometriosis. However, there is not enough research at present to substantiate these claims.

When to see a Health Specialist?

If you suffer form any of the above symptoms, you should consult a health specialist and discuss your situation with them further.