What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. The endometrial uterine lining is shed during the menstrual period. The endometrial tissue outside the uterus cannot be shed as part of your normal monthly cycle or during your period. This tissue can build up month after month and cause scar tissue around the fallopian tubes or ovaries. This is what causes the pain and in some cases, infertility.


The definitive diagnosis of endometriosis is through laparoscopy. This is a surgical procedure where the physician looks inside your abdomen for the presence of scar tissue.



If endometriosis is detected, your physician may advise additional, more invasive surgery to remove the scar tissue. These surgeries may or may not be effective, because the endometrium may well grow again. A common medical treatment is to use birth control pills to stop ovulation and the continued growth of endometrial tissue. Of course, you will then have the side effects and risks of taking the Pill.


Alternative treatments not avoid surgery and taking hormone-like drugs, but may be very successful in treating the chronic pain and building your immune system at the same time.

  • Accupuncture/Accupressure
  • Chinese herbal medicine or teas
  • Oil of Evening Primrose
  • B Complex Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium

An Acupuncturist, Herbalist or a Chinese medicine physician could assist you in these treatments.

To find out about various health conditions and treatments such as hysterectomy and alternatives, go to the HERS foundation web site.