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What you need to know about endometriosis

What you need to know about endometriosis

Endometriosis is a female disease that can cause pain and in exceptional cases can even lead to infertility. We have listed a number of things that are useful to know about endometriosis.

What is endometriosis?

If uterine mucus ends up outside the uterine cavity during menstruation, it is usually cleared by your body. In some women this does not happen and it can then develop into one of a total of three different endometriosis forms.

  1. The first form is superficial endometriosis with small spots on the peritoneum. This form is common and fortunately does not cause complaints in all cases.
  2. A second form is the development of cysts in or on the ovaries, causing adhesions and impairing function.
  3. In the third variant, adhesions of tissue around the uterus or between the uterus and other organs such as the intestine, causing them to grow together.
What you need to know about endometriosis

What are the complaints?

Each form has a specific pattern of complaints, such as abdominal and intestinal pain, problems with sex, difficult bowel movements, fatigue and reduced fertility. But in one form or another, it's almost always cycle-bound. The pain comes on before or during your period.

Several complaints of endometriosis at a glance

  • Pain just before and during menstruation
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pain in the gut
  • Fatigue
  • Can't get pregnant
What you need to know about endometriosis What you need to know about endometriosis

What can you do if you suffer from these complaints?

Do you have the above complaints? Then it may be wise to have yourself examined. Thus, endometriosis can be detected or excluded. The examination consists of an internal examination and, if necessary, an ultrasound can be made afterwards.

With this, the two most serious forms of endometriosis can almost always be detected or excluded with certainty. But the less severe, superficial endometriosis cannot be detected with this examination. The mild form can be detected with keyhole surgery and can even be treated immediately, but it is often not worth it, because the spots reappear after a menstrual period.

The treatment

The contraceptive pill can provide relief. Swallowing the pill in particular can be a smart method. Then you do not menstruate, you do not lose blood and you therefore have fewer or no complaints. The Mirena IUD can also sometimes help. There are also medicines, but they are quite intense. Do you have any complaints? Go to your GP and possibly be referred to a gynaecologist to find the best solution for you.


  • About fifty percent of women of reproductive age develop a mild form of endometriosis. This endometriosis does not cause any complaints and does not require treatment.
  • On average, it takes 9.2 years between the first symptoms of endometriosis and the time when endometriosis is diagnosed by a gynaecologist.
  • Fifteen percent of women with endometriosis are under the age of thirty.
  • In the Netherlands, an estimated 440,000 women have endometriosis.
  • The course of this condition is difficult to predict. In some women it heals spontaneously, in others it spreads further.
  • The production of endometrium stops as soon as you enter the menopause. The mucous membrane outside the uterus also no longer grows, that is the moment that the endometriosis comes to rest.

You can have an increased chance if…

• your mother or sister has endometriosis.
• you started menstruating at a very young age.
• you are late in the menopause.
• you have not yet been pregnant.
• your cycle is short so you menstruate often.