Endometriosis occurs when endometrial cells—the cells that make up the lining of your uterus—travel outside the uterus to other parts of your body. These misplaced cells are stimulated by hormones, just like the cells within your uterus, and bleed during your period (menstruation). Blood from these cells must be absorbed by your body. With each period, deposits build up and form scar tissue, which can be painful. Endometriosis affects 10 to 20 percent of American women of childbearing age. It is found in 30 percent of infertile women.

Signs and Symptoms

One-third of women with endometriosis have no symptoms. The most common symptoms include the following.

What Causes It?

The cause is unknown, but there are three theories.

What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

A physical examination may include gentle pushing on your abdomen and an internal examination. Definitive diagnosis is made with laparoscopy.

Treatment Options

Because there is no cure, treatment is to relieve symptoms.

Drug Therapies

The following drugs can relieve the symptoms of endometriosis.

Surgical Procedures

Laparoscopic laser techniques help shrink lesions. Total hysterectomy (removal of your uterus and ovaries) is recommended only when necessary but does not guarantee an end to your symptoms.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Providing liver support is the backbone of alternative treatment.

Nutrition Herbs
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts).

Chaste tree (Vitex agnus cactus) taken long term (12 to 18 months) for maximum effectiveness. Combine 2 parts of chaste tree with 1 part of two herbs from each category below. Drink 3 cups of tea per day or take 30 to 60 drops of tincture per day.

For liver support (include milk thistle and one other herb): Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale), vervain (Verbena officinalis), or blue flag (Iris versicolor).

For reducing pelvic congestion: Squaw vine (Mitchella repens), motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), red root (Ceonothus americanus), red raspberry (Rubus idaeus).

For management of severe pain and extensive endometriosis, Turska's formula is the preferred combination and should be used only under a health care provider's supervision.

Some of the most common remedies are listed below. Usually, the dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X to 30C remedy every one to four hours. Physical Medicine
Do not perform these therapies during menstrual flow.

Special Considerations

Endometriosis often resolves during pregnancy.


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