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Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that lines the uterus becomes located outside the pelvic cavity. When the woman undergoes menstruation, the tissue will bleed as the uterine lining is shed, which can result in pain for the female and lead to scarring of the reproductive organs. As a result of bleeding, pelvic organs become sticky and adhere to one another and if the tissue is present within an ovary it will become filled with blood and cause a cyst.

With endometriosis, a woman can experience an endometrioma which results when ovarian cysts become filled with old menstrual blood. The old blood will appear to have the consistency of motor oil or chocolate syrup, which is why the condition is also called chocolate cysts of the ovaries. Endometriosis and ovarian cysts seem to go hand-in-hand and can interfere with pregnancy in those trying to conceive. Endometriomas are treated by suppressing the menstrual cycle which can be done by using birth control pills. If the symptoms of an endometrioma are persistent during the menstrual cycle then birth control pills can be taken continuously in order to completely halt menses. Certain types of ovarian cysts usually self resolve within 3-6 weeks, but for those that do not hormones or surgery may be a viable treatment option.

Endometriomas do not appear to cause infertility or affect the quality of the egg, but can interfere with ovulation through inhibiting follicular development. As with any disease, endometriosis is something that can be handled with medical attention. If a patient has a previous medical history of pelvic pain and ovarian cysts, an ultrasound will determine if endometriosis is the culprit behind the inability to conceive. When trying to conceive a baby and a woman has a previous history of endometriosis, medical treatment is of the utmost importance if she is going to preserve fertility. Without proper treatment, an ovarian cyst can rupture and cause abdominal bleeding and further medical complications. With a blood test, pelvic examination, ultrasound and physical exam, a woman can determine the best course of action when addressing endometriosis and ovarian cysts.

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