Sometimes, the endometrial tissue moves out of the end of the fallopian tube and into the abdomen. In some women, the tissue can even attach to other organs. The hormones made in the upcoming menstrual cycle stimulate this extra tissue to grow and then shed, just as it would in the uterus. Unfortunately, the shedding tissue and blood has no way to exit the body, which then leads to inflammation and irritation of other tissue that is affected. Usually, the inflammation causes the pain that patients often experience with endometriosis.
Common symptoms of endometriosis that women experience include discomfort before and during your period, pain during intercourse, infertility, general pain or other issues with urination or bowel movements (especially around the time of your period). You may even experience bleeding between periods or fatigue.
Impact of Endometriosis on Fertility
The inflammation and irritation caused by the endometriosis can affect your ability to become pregnant. Inflammation of the fimbria, which transport the egg into the fallopian tube, can lead to swelling and scarring, which means that the egg may not be able to reach its destination. Additionally, inflammation can damage the sperm and eggs. Essentially, sperm and eggs can be negatively affected when exposed to the inhospitable environment which is caused by the endometriosis. In more serious cases of endometriosis, adhesions can be caused, and the pelvic organs may actually become stuck to each other, resulting in decreased function of those organs. Endometriosis can also block the fallopian tubes completely.
Usually your doctor will need to make the diagnosis with laparoscopy. A sonogram may show a cyst on the ovary, but these are not always present with every stage of endometriosis. A laparoscopy is a minor outpatient surgery that involves the insertion of a scope through the umbilicus and into the abdomen. During the laparoscopy, your physician can treat endometriosis via cauterization, laser, or scissors to remove the lesions.
If you want to learn more about endometriosis and how we can help develop an action plan for you, please give us a call at 214-544-6600 to schedule a consultation.