Overview of Endometriosis

endometriosis, also known as ovarian endometriosis, is a type of cyst that forms when endometrial tissue grows in the ovary. They are sometimes called “chocolate cysts” because they are filled with dark brown fluid made up of old menstrual blood and tissue.

These cysts are almost always benign (noncancerous) and may occur in one or both ovaries. Endometriosis is part of a condition called endometriosis, in which the endometrial tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.

This article will explain the symptoms and causes of endometriosis. It will also describe some possible complications and how to treat the condition.

Symptoms of endometriosis

Endometriosis may or may not cause symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they are the same as those of endometriosis.

These may include:

  • painful time
  • Pelvic pain, not related to menstruation
  • irregular period
  • heavy time
  • pain during sex


Possible complications of endometriosis include:

  • infertility
  • Ovarian cancer (very rare)
  • Urinary tract or bowel obstruction
  • Chronic pelvic pain, which can be debilitating

A serious complication of endometriosis is the rupture of one of the cysts. Signs of a ruptured cyst include:

  • fever and vomiting pain
  • sudden, severe abdominal pain
  • weakness, dizziness, or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • bleeding

If ovarian endometriosis ruptures, you may experience severe, sudden abdominal and pelvic pain on the side where the cyst is located. See your doctor right away if you have these symptoms or think you may have a ruptured cyst.

risk of infertility

Endometriosis is closely related to infertility. As many as 50% of women with endometriosis and endometriosis have difficulty conceiving. About 30% of infertile women have endometriosis.

It’s unclear how these conditions affect fertility, but experts believe the increased risk may be due to:

  • “Ovarian reserve” or a reduction in the number of eggs available for fertilization: This may be due to the hormonal effects of the cyst.
  • Inflammation: It is believed that inflammation may interfere with the function of sperm and egg cells, making fertilization more difficult.
  • Fluid in the cyst: This can cause the embryo to not survive.

How to get pregnant with endometriosis

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Researchers believe that some cysts may form due to retrograde menstruation, which can also lead to endometriosis. As many as 17% to 44% of women with endometriosis have ovarian endometriosis.

In retrograde menstruation, some of a woman’s menstrual blood flows back into the body during the period, rather than through the cervix and vagina. Endometrial cells travel back through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries and pelvis, where they implant and cause endometriosis.

With endometriosis, retrograde menstruation causes endometrial tissue to become trapped in the cyst, causing inflammation.

There is some evidence that an autoimmune reaction may contribute to endometriosis. In this case, endometrial tissue, which normally forms during menstruation, can cause an inflammatory response that can lead to scarring and diseased tissue in the pelvis.


If you have endometriosis and experience symptoms or unexplained fertility, your healthcare provider may consider a diagnosis of endometriosis. Cysts are sometimes felt during a pelvic exam.


Ultrasounds are good at identifying the presence of cysts, but they may not be able to identify the exact type of cyst you have. There are several different types of ovarian cysts, including follicular cysts, corpus luteum cysts, dermoid cysts, and cystadenomas, most of which are more common than endometriosis.


A needle biopsy begins with an ultrasound to determine the exact location of the cyst. A thin, hollow needle and a syringe are inserted into the cyst to extract tissue and fluid. The fluid and tissue samples are then examined under a microscope to see if they contain endometrial cells, a key indicator of endometriosis.


Retrograde menstruation, in which menstrual blood returns to the ovaries, is thought to be a cause of endometriosis. To diagnose this condition, your healthcare provider may perform a pelvic exam, ultrasound, and/or cyst biopsy.


Your healthcare provider will develop a treatment plan for endometriosis based on several factors. These include your age, your symptoms, whether one or both ovaries are affected, and your plans to have children in the future.

observation and monitoring

Cysts that do not cause symptoms are usually left untreated. Instead, your healthcare provider may take a watch-and-wait approach.

contraceptive pill

Endometriosis responds to fluctuations in the hormones progesterone and estrogen. For women who are not actively trying to conceive, hormonal forms of birth control, such as the pill, NuvaRing, or the hormonal contraceptive patch, can regulate hormone function, slow cyst growth, and help reduce pain.


Surgery to remove the cyst (called ovarian cystectomy) is recommended for women with painful symptoms, large cysts, cysts that may indicate cancer, or infertility. The procedure involves making a small incision (incision) in the abdomen and inserting a laparoscope — a long, thin tube with a camera and light. This helps a healthcare provider see and remove the cyst.

For women planning pregnancy, the risks and benefits of ovarian cystectomy must be carefully weighed. This procedure may negatively affect ovarian function. This reduces the likelihood of conception through natural or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

On the other hand, leaving endometriosis in place prior to IVF treatment increases a woman’s risk of pelvic infection after egg retrieval. They can also contaminate cultures where eggs and sperm combine.

Complementary therapy

While the field has not yet done extensive research on women with endometriosis, some complementary or alternative treatments have been found to help some women with endometriosis. These include acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, vitamins and dietary supplements.

Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before trying alternative treatments.


In some cases, hormonal forms of birth control can control endometriosis. For some women, surgery may be necessary. This is more likely for women who have painful cysts or who are trying to conceive.


In addition to medical remedies, you can manage endometriosis symptoms and stress by adjusting certain aspects of your lifestyle.


In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the role of inflammation in many diseases. Diet can affect inflammation.

Studies have shown that eating a diet consisting primarily of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, halibut, walnuts, and flax seeds, can significantly reduce the risk of endometriosis. Eating red meat regularly increases your risk.


Exercise can relieve endometriosis pain by promoting healthy circulation, reducing excess estrogen production, relieving stress, and releasing pain-relieving endorphins in the brain.

stress management

The pain and potential infertility of endometriosis can negatively affect every aspect of your life, including work, family, and relationships. Exercise, getting enough sleep, and seeking individual talk therapy and/or support groups for women with endometriosis can all be effective ways to reduce stress.


Endometriosis, also known as a “chocolate cyst” because of its brown color, is a cyst that forms on the ovaries. The cause of these cysts is endometrial tissue that grows on the ovaries. Women with endometriosis develop endometriosis. Symptoms of endometriosis include dysmenorrhea and heavy menstrual bleeding. Although endometriosis is rarely dangerous, it can lead to fertility problems.

VigorTip words

Cysts associated with endometriosis can be painful and cause stress, especially in women who are planning to have children. Fortunately, there are many treatment options as well as lifestyle measures to manage pain and reduce the risk of complications.

Because endometriosis and, in some cases, the surgery used to treat them, can significantly affect fertility, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is endometriosis?

    Endometriosis is a type of cyst that forms when endometrial tissue grows in the ovary. They are sometimes called “chocolate cysts” because they are filled with dark brown fluid made up of old menstrual blood and tissue.

  • What causes endometriosis?

    The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but one theory is that the condition is caused by retrograde menstruation. This way, menstrual blood and tissue are brought back to the ovaries through the fallopian tubes, rather than being expelled from the body.

  • What kind of health care provider treats endometriosis?

    Gynecologists, doctors who specialize in women’s reproductive health, can diagnose and treat endometriosis.

  • What is a chocolate cyst?

    Chocolate cyst is another name for endometriosis, a type of ovarian cyst that can form in the ovaries.