What Do You Know About Endometriosis?

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, which means it’s a good time to brush up on this common women’s health problem.  For example, did you know that endometriosis gets its name from endometrium (en-doh-MEE-tree-um), the tissue that lines the uterus?  Or that this often painful condition occurs when that tissue begins to grow in other places, such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity lining?  In rare cases, endometrial tissue has even been found in places like the lungs and brain.

In Endometriosis, the Tissue that Lines the Uterus Begins Growing in Other Female Reproductive Organs (and in Some Cases, Beyond)

More than five million women in the US have endometriosis.  It’s most common in women in their 30s and 40s, but it can occur in any teen or woman who has menstrual periods.  Symptoms include painful menstrual cramps, chronic lower back or pelvic pain, pain during or after sex, intestinal pain, infertility and painful bowel movements and/or urination during menstrual periods.  Interestingly, pain levels don’t align with the amount of endometriosis, though.  Some women have severe pain with only a few small growths.

The cause of endometriosis is unknown, but research shows a link between endometriosis and several other chronic conditions, including multiple sclerosisfibromyalgiachronic fatigue syndrome and lupus.  Endometriosis also appears to run in families, suggesting that it may be carried in the genes or that some families have traits that make them more likely to get it.  In other mysteries, scientists have not yet pinpointed how endometrial tissue travels through the body, although there are several theories.

Endometriosis Severity, As Reported by Members of PatientsLikeMe

Despite the unknowns, there are many things you can learn from the 400+ women who report endometriosis at PatientsLikeMe.  How are they coping?  Some commonly reported treatments include a conventional hysterectomylaparoscopic hysterectomy, (a birth control pill that produces four periods a year), Mirena (an IUD contraceptive device) and the prescription drug Lepron Depot.  Click on each treatment to see how others evaluate the effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.  And if you yourself have endometriosis, share your experiences and connect other women like you today.

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3 thoughts on “What Do You Know About Endometriosis?”

  1. I joined your site due to fibromyalgia. I am currently 46 years old and had my hysterectomy 9 years ago. Endometriosis plagued me from my early teens. My symptoms were severe and I began birth control at 16. I had my first laproscopy at 21 to clean up my endometriosis and was advised not to wait 5 years to begin my family. I took danocrine and repeated laproscopy when the time came to begin family. Took me 18 months to conceive. Absolutely loved pregnancy….no period and no pain! Repeat for 2nd child same as above. Told me that the chances of a 3rd were way out in left field…got pregnant on my own without surgery or meds. I begged for hysterectomy at that time and Dr. refused stating I was too young. Had tubes tied and suffered every month for at least 2 days while period came, also during this time I missed all activities my children had going. Basically lived on couch/bed with heating pad and pain pills. I felt so great after hysterectomy and could not believe that I was made to suffer with endometriosis for all those years.

  2. I am 71 years old and have been menopausal since 55. I recently had both ovaries removed for an Ovarian cyst and the Gyn found Endometriosis which I never had before! I had infertility in my early years and was on Fertility drugs. I eventually became pregnant at 35 on my own! I’ve had back pain for several years, primarily from Sinal Stenosis and have seeing a pain medicine dr. I was on Opioids which really didn’t help, and I didn’t want to become addicted. So I went off of them, had the surgery and now have much less pain in my back! I get relief from Tylenol Arthritis (I can’t take NSAIDs). Could the Endometriosis and Ovarian Cyst have caused some of my back pain?

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