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You are here: Home > Fertility & Trying to Conceive > Fertility Concerns

What is Endometriosis?

by Lori Ramsey |
1 Comments


Definition

Endometriosis is an abnormal growth of the endometrium (what normally grows every month inside the uterus, known as the uterine lining) on the outside of the uterus - in places such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries and mostly contained in the pelvic cavity. A woman can have no symptoms with endometriosis, or the symptoms can range from minor to sharp pain; especially during menstruation and intercourse. Endometriosis causes unusually long bleeding periods.

Percentage Affected

According to bioscience.org and the book Endometriosis The 90's Outlook, by Ari Babaknia, M.D., endometriosis affects some 5% of the females of childbearing age. And, of the women who suffer from severe menstrual cramps, 25-35% are diagnosed with endometriosis. Studies have shown that endometriosis seems to have a genetic trait, and runs in families.

Symptoms

The symptoms of endometriosis vary. One case of severe endometriosis may not show any symptoms while a mild case may yield severe symptoms. The most common symptoms are pelvic pain, pain with intercourse, painful urination, unusually heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding prior to menstruation, and infertility.

Diagnosis

Endometriosis is initially diagnosed through an ultrasound of the pelvic region. The next step is laparoscopy. If the disease is present, further testing through a 2nd laparoscopy can be done.

Stages

Endometriosis is diagnosed in stages, with stage one being minimal and stage 4 being severe.

Infertility

Endometriosis causes infertility by affecting ovulation, and causing a luteal phase defect.

Treatments

Endometriosis responds well to ovulation suppression. Treatments include birth control pills, and medications which suppress ovulation, such as Danazol and Lupron. Laser treatments can be used when endometriosis is first diagnosed, especially if pregnancy is desired. Lastly, and most ironic, pregnancy is one of the best treatments for stopping endometriosis.

Pregnancy Achievement and Endo

The best treatment to achieve pregnancy while suffering from endometriosis is laser surgery. Usually, a pregnancy will occur within the first 12 months of the treatment. However, if the disease is advanced, the use of IVF and GIFT can be done, with a 25 to 30% pregnancy rate, according to bioscience.org and the book Endometriosis The 90's Outlook by Ari Babaknia, M.D.


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Comments


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Yolanda Jul 12, 2013 11:45:12 AM ET

I just want to stop all of the pain who can help me with this.

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