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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common condition that affects women during their child-bearing years. It occurs when cells that line the womb grow in areas outside the womb. These cells grow and shed in response to hormones that regulate a woman's menstrual cycle. This can lead …
What causes endometriosis?
It is not known exactly what causes endometriosis. It may occur as a result of retrograde menstruation. This occurs when blood and tissue that is shed during a woman's period flows backwards into the fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity, instead of out of the …
What symptoms are associated with endometriosis?
Some women with endometriosis may not experience any symptoms at all, while others may experience pain or cramping in the lower abdomen during and between periods, pain during sex and changes in menstruation, such as heavy bleeding or long …
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
Endometriosis can be very difficult to diagnose. A doctor will usually begin with collecting a medical history, performing a physical examination and conducting some diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions that could be contributing to the symptoms. …
How is endometriosis treated?
Endometriosis may be treated with pain medications and hormone therapies to help relieve some of the symptoms. Sometimes surgery to remove endometrial growths or remove part of the reproductive system may be required.
Who gets endometriosis?
Endometriosis can affect any woman of child-bearing age. Women who are obese, or who have a close family member with the condition, are more likely to be affected. The symptoms of endometriosis usually go away when a woman reaches menopause and stops having periods.
Can endometriosis be prevented?
There is no known way to prevent endometriosis, but there are some things that may reduce your risk of developing the condition or reduce the severity of symptoms, including exercising daily and taking an oral contraceptive pill.
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 17 Oct 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 407 (Click smiley face below left to rate)