Endometriosis is caused by the growth of uterine lining tissue outside the uterus. It can cause severe pain and infertility. Learn more about the condition, its diagnosis and the different treatment options available.

To date there are no definitive treatment for endometriosis, but certain treatment options can improve quality of life for patients:

  • surgery: to remove or break up lesions, performed at the same time as the laparoscopy.
  • hormone therapy: prescribed to block the menstrual cycle and prevent periods, hormones help to reduce the thickness of the uterine lining and the size of the endometrial lesions. Oral contraceptive pills are often used as a first-line treatment in young women. Second-line treatments include Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injected either monthly or every three months. Treatment is given for six months and creates temporary medical menopause. Similarly, progestins, which mimic natural progesterone, can be subscribed in pill form (taken daily), as a weekly or monthly contraceptive injection, or as an intrauterine device.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication: to relieve pain by reducing inflammation around the lesions.

The severity of endometriosis varies from mild to severe.

Infertility is one of the main complications and affects approximately 25% of women with endometriosis. Medically assisted reproduction makes it possible for some women to have a child.


of women worldwide have endometriosis.

30 to 40%

of women with endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant and need IVF.

Last update 13/04/2017