Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrium) grows where it shouldn't, causing pain, irregular bleeding and possible infertility.

The tissue growth (implant) typically occurs in the pelvic area, outside of the uterus, on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder and the delicate lining of the pelvis. Endometriosis affects 10-20% of women of childbearing age.

Learn more about endometriosis.

How Endometriosis is Treated

Hormone therapy regulates or blocks the hormones that control your menstrual cycle. This means it can limit the swelling of your endometrium and extra endometrial tissue (implants). This treatment may be used before, instead of or after surgery. Drugs used to treat endometriosis include those that put a woman into chemical menopause (GnRH agonists and danazol) and those that attempt to shrink endometriosis lesions by stopping ovulation (birth control pills and progesterone-only pills or shots).

Gynecologic surgery is another option and can be used to remove implants of endometrial tissue or for removal of the reproductive organs. The aim of surgery is to remove or destroy endometriosis and to restore distorted anatomy. When the endometriosis is removed, pain may be relieved.

Learn about one patient's experience with robotic surgery to treat endometriosis.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

  • Severe pelvic pain before and/or after menstruation
  • Severe menstrual cramps
  • Painful intercourse
  • Painful orgasms
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Intestinal distress (bloating, nausea, vomiting)
  • Lower back pain
  • Fatigue

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it's important that you call your doctor or the professionals at North Kansas City Hospital. Only testing will prove whether you are experiencing endometriosis or something different.