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Understanding Endometriosis

The uterus (womb) contains a lining which is referred to as the endometrium. This special lining grows in the uterus each month for the purpose of nourishing a fertilized egg. The endometrium also provides nourishment for the developing fetus. The endometrium grows in the uterus each month in response to a complex cycle of hormones. If the endometrium is not used, then it will be shed through menstruation. Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue grows somewhere OUTSIDE of the uterus - usually elsewhere in the reproductive tract (i.e. on the ovaries). Endometriosis occurs most often in females of childbearing age.


A Symptoms Checklist

  • Do menstrual cramps cause you to miss work or other activities every month?

  • Have your menstrual cramps become more severe over time?

  • Do you experience menstrual cramps in the middle of your cycle?

  • Are your cramps intensified by urination or strained bowel movements?

  • Do specific physical movements cause pelvic pain?

  • Have you experienced lower back pain prior to or during menstruation?

  • Do nausea, vomiting or intestinal upset accompany your cramps?

  • Have you miscarried more than once?

  • Have you experienced over a year of unsuccessful pregnancy attempts?

  • Does pain accompany or follow intercourse?

  • If so, when is it more prominent, certain times of the month or in certain positions?

  • At what are did you begin to have menstrual cramps?Describe the way the pain feels. (i.e. throbbing, sharp, constant, right through to your back?)

  • What can/do you do to ease the pain?

  • What activities make the pain more prominent?

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