Can you get endometriosis during menopause?

Does endometriosis go after menopause? Predicting whether it’s going to stop or not isn’t easy. Let’s check the signs but first of all let’s start with the definition of endometriosis, how and why it occurs and when does it stop?

What is endometriosis and what causes endometriosis?

Crippling menstrual cramps, gastrointestinal problems, and pain during sex are the most common symptoms of endometriosis.

It is known as a gynecological disorder that affects, generally speaking, as many as 1 in 10 women1.

It is a benign gynecological pathology that is characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the womb and myometrium (peritoneum, pelvic, ovaries, digestive system). It is linked to the reflux of blood by the fallopian tubes during a woman’s period into the peritoneal cavity (the space in the abdomen containing stomach, intestines and liver).

Does endometriosis go after menopause?

Endometriosis symptoms are most troubling during the reproductive years and the end of periods generally eases the endometriosis pain.

When women go through menopause naturally, ovaries produce less estrogen. As a result, endometriosis symptoms may lessen.

It can be explained that the lesions of endometriosis « go to sleep » in the absence of hormonal secretion.

On the other hand, a hormonal treatment can reactivate endometriosis lesions and provoke the return of pelvic pain and/or bleeding.

Hence, the conclusion is that it all depends on individual cases.  Each body is different, so despite the fact that menopause may reduce the symptoms of endometriosis, it is not certain that they will necessarily disappear once a woman stops menstruating.

 

Key elements to remember about endometriosis symptoms and menopause:

  • Menopause doesn’t necessarily imply the end of endometriosis symptoms
  • Hormonal treatment may reactive endometriosis lesions and provoke the return of pelvic pain and/or bleeding.
  • Keep living the way you do and enjoy the possible “it’s getting better” signs.

SOURCE:

1. Bulun SE. Endometriosis. N Engl J Med 2009;360:268–279.

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