Babe, if you have struggled with endometriosis during your reproductive years, you may be wondering if your endometriosis will resolve once you hit menopause. After all, it would make sense for endometriosis to go away after menopause because your estrogen levels decline. However, it is not that cut and dry, Babe. Although common, endometriosis is a complicated pelvic disease. While there is no guarantee that endometriosis will go away after menopause, many women find that their symptoms do improve.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful pelvic disorder where tissue that is similar to the tissue lining your uterus grows outside of the uterus. The tissue that lines your uterus is called endometrial tissue, and it is responsible for bleeding and sloughing off during each menstrual cycle. Women with endometriosis typically have endometrial tissue attached to other organs and tissues in the pelvis, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and musculoskeletal tissue. Rarely does endometrial tissue attach to organs and tissues outside of the body.
When endometrial tissue is found outside of the uterus, it acts just like the endometrium of your uterus: it thickens, sloughs off, and bleeds with each menstruation. However, the tissue has no way to exit the body as it does from the uterus. Therefore, the tissue and blood become trapped, which can be extremely painful especially during your period. Over time, scar tissue and adhesions can form and may cause surrounding tissues to stick together.
If endometrial tissue is found on the ovaries, you may develop cysts called endometriomas, or chocolate cysts...It is tough to ruin chocolate, but that alternative name just may do it for some.
Endometriosis can lead to fertility problems and nearly one-half of women with endometriosis may have difficulty getting pregnant. However, many women with endometriosis do get pregnant and can carry their babies to full term.
What does endometriosis feel like?
Women who get diagnosed with endometriosis usually see their doctor with complaints of:
Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
Painful sex (dyspareunia)
Pain with having a bowel movement or urinating
Difficulty getting pregnant
So, can you have endometriosis after menopause?
Yes, Babe, you still can have some symptoms endometriosis after menopause. However, some women report that their endometriosis completely resolves once they hit menopause. Indeed, most women will find that their symptoms get better but do not completely go away. Once you stop having periods, you likely will experience a significant reduction in those painful and uncomfortable symptoms that were so debilitating around your period.
Although estrogen levels are much lower after menopause, your ovaries will still produce a small amount of estrogen that may affect the endometrial-like tissue that has settled outside your uterus. If you are still struggling with endometriosis after hitting menopause, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy or surgery to remove the endometrial scar tissue and/or perform a hysterectomy.
Curious about whether or not a hysterectomy is a good option for treating your endometriosis after menopause? Head over to our Perry community to get the details on whether or not a hysterectomy will cure your endometriosis.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.
Meet The Author
Perry Babe Julia ( RN, BSN, BA) is a registered nurse based in Colorado. Julia's nursing background in women’s health has ranged from neonatal and postpartum care, to labor and delivery, to outpatient gynecological medicine for both adolescent and adult populations.
Much of her education and clinical experience is related to educating women on women’s health topics ranging from lifestyle improvements, disease management, and general health education. Find Julia's Perry community profile right here.