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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures

Endometriosis

Introduction

Endometriosis is a problem affecting a woman's uterus - the place where a baby grows when she's pregnant. Endometriosis is when the kind of tissue that normally lines the uterus grows somewhere else. It can grow on the ovaries, behind the uterus or on the bowels or bladder. Rarely, it grows in other parts of the body.

This "misplaced" tissue can cause pain, infertility and very heavy periods. The pain is usually in the abdomen, lower back or pelvic areas. Some women have no symptoms at all. Having trouble getting pregnant may be the first sign.

The cause of endometriosis is not known. Pain medicines and hormones often help. Severe cases may need surgery. There are also treatments to improve fertility in women with endometriosis.