Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrial stroma and glands, which should only be located inside the uterus) is found elsewhere in the body.
Endometriosis lesions can be found anywhere in the pelvic cavity: on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and on the pelvic sidewall. Other common sites include the uterosacral ligaments, the cul-de-sac, the Pouch of Douglas, and in the rectal-vaginal septum.
In addition, it can be found in caecarian-section scars, laparoscopy or laparotomy scars, and on the bladder, bowel, intestines, colon, appendix, and rectum.
In rare cases, endometriosis has been found inside the vagina, inside the bladder, on the skin, even in the lung, spine, and brain.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. The pain often correlates to the menstrual cycle, but a woman with endometriosis may also experience pain that doesn’t correlate to her cycle. For many women, the pain of endometriosis is so severe and debilitating that it impacts their lives in significant ways.
Endometriosis can also cause scar tissue and adhesions to develop that can distort a woman’s internal anatomy. In advanced stages, internal organs may fuse together, causing a condition known as a "frozen pelvis."
It is estimated that 30-40% of women with endometriosis are infertile.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. The pain often correlates to the menstrual cycle, however a woman with endometriosis may also experience pain at other times during her monthly cycle.
For many women, but not everyone, the pain of endometriosis can unfortunately be so severe and debilitating that it impacts on her life significant ways.
Pain may be felt:
Other symptoms may include:
diarrhoea or constipation (in particular in connection with menstruation)
The other well known symptom associated with endometriosis is infertility. It is estimated that 30-40% of women with endometriosis are subfertile.
Who usually gets endometriosis?
About five million women in the United States have endometriosis. This makes it one of the most common health problems for women.
In general, women with endometriosis:
* get their monthly period
Women who have gone through menopause (when a woman stops having her period) rarely still have symptoms.
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