Endometriosis affects approximately five million women in the U.S. and many more women around the world. It’s the leading cause of infertility in women. Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the lining of the uterus (or the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus, which can affect your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining of your pelvis.
This can cause chronic pain in the lower abdomen: painful menstrual cycles, intestinal pain, spotting or bleeding between periods, pain during sex, and in some cases, infertility.
There is currently no cure for endometriosis, but there are several treatments. One of the most effective and simple treatments is hormonal birth control, which helps manage the chronic pain. That’s right — hormonal birth control to the rescue yet again!
Endometriosis is most often diagnosed in women in their 30s and 40s, but can occur in anyone who has a uterus.
It’s so important that women get regular health checkups and monitor their bodies for any changes. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above — pain in the lower abdomen, painful menstrual cycles, intestinal pain, spotting or bleeding between periods, or pain during sex — talk to your health care provider. It might be less serious than you imagine, but you should always have it checked out just in case. Promise?
For more information on endometriosis or to find a health center near you, visit PlannedParenthood.org.
We’re here to help!