Of all women's reproductive health disorders, endometriosis is the most common, affecting one in ten women in the U.S. Despite its frequency, endometriosis often takes a long time to diagnose by OB/GYNs and other well-woman care providers.
Knowing exactly what endometriosis is and its symptoms can make women more aware of their own health, which can help their doctor in correctly and quickly diagnosing any problems. You can also check out online sources to get detailed information about the common endometriosis symptoms.
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What Causes Endometriosis
The endometrium is the type of tissue that lines the uterus. It is the tissue that responds to a woman's hormones and thickens in the uterus in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, this lining is shed through blood during the monthly menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis occurs when this endometrium tissue grows outside of the uterus where it should not. No one is exactly sure why this process occurs, though researchers know that it is linked to a woman's hormones as well as to her autoimmune system.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Not all women who suffer from endometriosis suffer symptoms, but usually, a woman will experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Heavy Periods
- Painful Periods or Ovulation, including cramping and/or low back pain
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you should talk to your OB/GYN or other woman care provider. Your health care provider can help you manage and treat the symptoms of endometriosis, including infertility.