What is endometriosis? — Endometriosis is a condition that affects women. It can cause pain in the lower part of the belly and trouble getting pregnant.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue normally found in a woman's uterus grows outside of the uterus. This tissue, which does not belong outside the uterus, can then break down, bleed, and cause symptoms.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis? — Some women with endometriosis have no symptoms. But most have pain in the lower part of the belly that can occur:
Other symptoms of endometriosis can include:
All of these symptoms can also be caused by conditions that are not endometriosis. But if you have any of these symptoms, tell your doctor.
Is there a test for endometriosis? — No. But your doctor might suspect you have it by learning about your symptoms and doing an exam.
The only way to know for sure if you have endometriosis is for a doctor to do surgery and look for endometriosis tissue outside the uterus.
How is endometriosis treated? — Endometriosis can be treated in different ways. The right treatment for you will depend on your symptoms and on whether you want to be able to get pregnant in the future.
Doctors can use medicines to treat endometriosis. These include:
Some women choose to have surgery to treat endometriosis. Different types of surgery can include:
What if I am having trouble getting pregnant? — If you are having trouble getting pregnant, talk with your doctor. There are different medicines and treatments that can help a woman get pregnant.