What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a common condition that can cause pelvic pain and can sometimes affect fertility. Endometriosis happens when the same type of tissue that lines the uterus and is shed during menstrual cycles, is found elsewhere in the body. This tissue can be around the stomach, on the lungs, or other organs in the abdomen. Similar to menstrual cycles, the tissue builds up throughout the month and breaks down and is shed during periods. When the lining is shed from the uterus, it exits the body from the vagina. In endometriosis, the blood and tissue that are shed have no way of leaving the body and this causes pain, scarring, and inflammation and sometimes, difficulty getting pregnant. 

Diagnosing endometriosis can be difficult since symptoms and location of endometriosis in the body can be different from person to person. Some of the symptoms of endometriosis are:

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to visit your healthcare provider for further advice. Many of these symptoms are similar to other conditions, so further investigation by a healthcare provider can help identify what is going on.  

If I plan on getting pregnant, what should I know?

Endometriosis can make becoming pregnant more challenging for women with severe endometriosis as scar tissue in the fallopian tubes can prevent the egg and sperm from meeting. Fortunately, many women with endometriosis are able to become pregnant. Below, we outlined some of the things to look out for or keep in mind when trying to get pregnant with endometriosis:

Pregnancy with endometriosis

There are a few things to consider when pregnant with endometriosis. 

For resources on managing endometriosis: