What are the risks of untreated endometriosis?
Endometriosis can also cause other symptoms, including:
- bleeding or spotting in between periods.
- excessive bloating.
- difficulty getting pregnant.
Endometriosis creates endometrial cells that resemble the uterus lining, causing them to grow in atypical places in the body instead of inside of the uterus.
Endometrial tissue plays a role in the bleeding that occurs during a woman’s menstrual cycle and cramping that expels the uterine lining.
When endometrium-like tissue tissue grows outside the uterus, the results can be painful and problematic.
Endometriosis can result in the following complications, which could be fatal if untreated:
Small bowel obstruction
Endometriosis can cause uterine tissue to grow in the intestines in anywhere from 3 to 37 percent of women Trusted Source with the condition.
In rare cases, the tissue can cause bleeding and scarring that leads to intestinal obstruction (blockage of the intestine).
A small bowel obstruction can cause symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, and problems passing gas or stool.
If left untreated, a bowel obstruction can cause pressure to build up, possibly resulting in a bowel perforation (a hole in the bowel). A blockage can also decrease blood supply to the intestines. Both can be fatal.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. This can cause the fallopian tube to rupture, which can lead to internal bleeding.
According to an analysis of 15 studies Trusted Source, women with endometriosis are more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy.
Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include vaginal bleeding that’s abnormal, mild cramping occurring on one side of the pelvis, and low back pain.
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