Like PID, endometriosis is a condition that causes pelvic pain and can lead to infertility. Unlike PID, though, endometriosis isn't known to be caused by chlamydia [source: Gazvani, et. al]. The most recognized cause of endometriosis is a condition known as retrograde menstruation. In retrograde menstruation, blood with endometrial cells can travel into the abdominal cavity rather than out of the body, which is the normal process of menstruation. It's also possible that parts of a woman's abdominal lining can convert to endometrial tissue. It's currently unknown why this happen.
If you're experiencing pelvic pain and infertility, but you're unsure whether you have PID or endometriosis -- or something else altogether -- you should be evaluated by your physician. However, reviewing a checklist of endometriosis symptoms may help you get an idea of whether or not it's the condition you're dealing with:
- painful periods
- painful intercourse
- painful bowel movements or urination
- heavy menstrual bleeding
- bleeding between periods
- digestive upset
Keep reading for lots more information on fertility and reproductive health.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) -- Fact Sheet." Sept. 28, 2011. (July 1, 2012) http://www.cdc.gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID.htm
- Gazvani, R; Coyne, L; Anttila, T; Saikku, P; Paavonen, J; and Templeton, A. "Antibodies to Chlamydia trachomatis in serum and peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis." Human Fertility. March 14, 2011. (July 1, 2012) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21466268
- King, Warren. "Chlamydia, the cruel fertility thief." Seattle Times. Nov. 17, 2004. (July 1, 2012) http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2002092283_healthstd17.html
- Mayo Clinic. "Endometriosis -- Causes." Sept. 11, 2010. (July 1, 2012) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/endometriosis/DS00289/DSECTION=causes
- Morris, Randy. "Chlamydia and Infertility." IVFI. Jan. 15, 2010. (July 1, 2012) http://www.ivf1.com/chlamydia-infertility/
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Endometriosis." July 25, 2011. (July 1, 2012) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001913/
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)." Sept. 12, 2011. (July 1, 2012) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001890/