Endometriosis is a condition where cells from the lining of the uterus grow elsewhere in the body. The most often appears in places within the pelvis like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterine surface, bowel, bladder, rectum and the space behind the uterus.
Any woman is at risk; however, women in their 30s and 40s, women who have never had children, those with family history, and women with chronic pelvic pain are most at risk.
Symptoms of endometriosis include pain with intercourse, during bowel movements or urination, or just before or during your menstrual cycle. Endometriosis is found in one third of women with infertility.
The diagnosis of endometriosis includes a physical exam with a pelvic exam. Often treatment with medication such as nonsteriodial antiinflammatory drugs and hormonal agents like birth control pills and hormonal injections can lead to improvement or complete resolution of symptoms. Often these agents are used with the presumed diagnosis of endometriosis.
The absolute diagnosis of endometriosis requires surgery by laparoscopy or laparotomy. Surgery allows your physician to give an accurate diagnosis as well as actually treating/removing the endometriosis.