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There are many different common uterus problems that affect women, the most common problem being severe menstrual cramping, called dysmenorrhea. Other common uterus disorders include endometriosis and uterine fibroid tumors. Relatively less common problems are pelvic inflammatory disease and a birth defect called uterine septum.
Severe menstrual cramping is one of the most common uterus problems. This is not a disease or disorder and can happen to a healthy uterus. The medical term for extreme menstrual cramping is dysmenorrhea, and it is quite serious. This pain is caused by muscle contractions in the uterine lining, which serve to aid in shedding excess blood during menstruation. Pain relievers may be used to treat severe menstrual cramps, either over the counter or by prescription, depending on the severity.
Endometriosis is another common type of uterus problem. The uterus is lined with endometrial tissue. Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue is growing outside of the uterus, which causes scar tissue to develop around the organs inside the abdomen. Symptoms of this disorder include severe abdominal pain, abnormal bleeding, and pain during intercourse. It is not uncommon for endometriosis to cause infertility, and trouble conceiving is often the precursor to diagnosis.
Uterine fibroid tumors are fairly common uterus problems, affecting about two out of 10 premenopausal women. Despite the scary name, uterine fibroid tumors are noncancerous and often present no symptoms. When symptoms are present, they may include difficulty in pregnancy or labor, pain, and bleeding; if they are large enough to press on the bladder, can cause difficulty urinating. Fibroids are smooth growths, either on the inner or outer wall of the uterus, that are made of muscle tissue. They vary in size from as small as a seed to as large as a small melon.
A sexually transmitted disease is a common cause of uterine problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease. The uterus is infected after the original infection spreads from the vagina. This can cause abscesses, which are pus-filled sacs, to grow in the pelvis and may cause vaginal discharge. Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include fever and pelvic pain. Severe cases can result in permanent damage to the fallopian tubes and infertility.
One of the less common uterus problems is a uterine septum. A uterine septum describes a birth defect, or malformation of the uterus. A partition either partially or fully develops within the uterus, effectively dividing it in two. Occasionally, the growth continues all the way down the vaginal canal, creating what is called a double vagina. This condition can cause infertility and general reproduction difficulties, but is believed to occur in some women without creating any reproductive problems.