Understanding Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a pain…literally.

The condition causes tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus to grow outside your uterus. The tissue builds up with your menstrual cycle and sheds. IWith Endometriosis the tissue cannot shed normally, and can cause internal bleeding and scarring, leading to  pain and potential fertility issues.  

endometriosis Seattle Women’s: Health, Research, Gynecology

Other symptoms can include painful menstrual cramps, heavy and long menstrual periods, chronic pain with sex and more. 

Diagnosis

Currently, the only way to verify endometriosis is to undergo a diagnostic laparoscopy procedure  Sometimes a biopsy may be collected. Endometriosis is often treated during the laparoscopy, but continued treatment is often required.  Often, if you have symptoms of endometriosis, your doctor will treat you presumptively, without a surgical dx.

endometriosis Seattle Women’s: Health, Research, Gynecology

Treatment and Beyond

There are several treatment options to choose from to help alleviate the symptoms of endometriosis. These include hormone therapy, pain medications, and surgery. Everyone is different, so you may have to try a few before you find what works, so be patient.


Endometriosis is a long term condition with symptoms that may persist until menopause.  The severity of the endometriosis and the symptoms will wax and wane over your reproductive life span.  Your individualized treatment plan will change over time based on many factors.  We are consistently learning more about this troubling condition and new treatments are becoming available.
Here at Seattle Women’s, we are committed not only to working with patients to find current treatments that will deliver the most impactful results, but also in working to develop new treatment options through clinical studies.


If you or someone you love is struggling with endometriosis, Seattle Women’s has several enrolling studies for those seeking new options. Qualified candidates who participate receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for time and travel. To learn more and to find out if you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE

Leave a Comment