EndometriosisiStock_000010114069XSmall is a common disorder that affects up to one in ten women in their reproductive years, and is linked to infertility in approximately 20 to 40 percent of female factor cases. Symptoms of this common disorder are painful periods (dysmenorrhea), chronic pelvic pain, and dyspareunia (painful intercourse). Many women with the condition, however experience no symptoms.

Endometrosis is associated with infertility, but the exact mechanism may vary from patient to patient. The condition occurs when tissue fragments from the endometrium (the innermost lining of the uterus) grow outside of the uterus. Since these misplaced pieces of tissue cannot be shed during menstruation, scarring on the ovaries or at the ends of the fallopian tubes often results. The scar tissue can prevent eggs from moving into the tubes for fertilization.

Endometriosis can often be treated successfully with drug therapy or surgery. The first step is to have the condition correctly diagnosed. Besides painful periods and problems getting pregnant, symptoms of endometriosis include lower back pain, painful bowel movements during menstruation, and tenderness of the abdomen.

Read more about Endometriosis and Infertility here.