By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Endometriosis is one of those terms that seem highly technical but for those who deal with the condition it is very real.

Endometriosis is a problem affecting a woman’s uterus. In endometriosis, it is the tissue that lines the uterus that starts to grow somewhere else. Some common places are the ovaries, behind the uterus, or the bowels or bladder. Rarely, it grows in other parts of the body, even as far away as the knee.

The misplaced tissue can cause pain, infertility, and some very heavy periods. Usually, the pain is in the abdomen, lower back, or pelvic areas. Some women have no symptoms at all.

Having trouble getting pregnant may be the first sign, and we’re not sure of the exact cause, although pain medicines and hormones can help. Severe cases could use surgery.

Fertility issues remain a major problem in women with endometriosis.

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