Endometriosis is a common disorder that affects many women of reproductive age. It occurs when the normal endometrial tissue- the lining of the uterus, grows outside the uterus. This misplaced tissue may implant itself & grows anywhere within the abdominal cavity.
Endometrial tissue, whether it is inside or outside the uterus, responds to the estrogen & progesterone produced by the ovaries during the reproductive cycle. Under the influence of the hormones, the misplaced tissue grows and swells and when hormonal levels drop the tissue may bleed. Unlike the normally situated endometrium, which is shed from the body as the menstrual discharge, the misplaced tissue & blood have no outlet.
They remain in the abdominal cavity & irritate the surrounding tissue.
Endometriosis is highly unpredictable. Some women may have just a few isolated implants that never spread or grow, while in others the disease may spread throughout the pelvis. Endometriosis irritates surrounding tissue & may produce web like growths of scar tissue called adhesions. The scar tissue can bind the pelvic organs and even cover them entirely. Many woman who have endometriosis may cause severe menstrual cramps, pain during intercourse & infertility.