There is a strong relationship between endometriosis and sub fertility. While some 10% of women suffer from the disease, this rises to 35% for women with fertility problems.
The disease gets its name from the word endometrium, which is the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus and which is shed each month during menstruation. Endometriosis is caused by the presence of this tissue in places other than the uterus.It is most frequently found in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the ligaments which support the uterus and the lining of the pelvic or abdominal cavity. This tissue is sensitive to the hormonal changes that occur during menstruation, the source of the symptoms associated with the disease. Although some patients may not have any symptoms, the most common ones are pain and infertility. Pain may only occur during menstruation, but there can also be gastrointestinal and urinary symptoms, if endometrial tissue invades other areas such as the intestine, the bladder or the colon.
Infertility related to endometriosis can arise from the changes which occur in the pelvic anatomy of patients during their menstrual cycles. It can cause obstruction of the tubes or the formation of ovarian cysts, which sometimes require surgery and so result in the loss of ovarian tissue and decreased fertility. There are medical and surgical treatments available and in many cases becoming pregnant can check the progress of the disease.