Endometriosis is a disorder in which endometrial tissue (tissue that lines the inside of the uterus) grows outside the uterine cavity. The hormonal changes of your menstrual cycle affect the misplaced endometrial tissue – it swells and thickens, then sheds to mark the beginning of the next cycle. Unlike the menstrual blood from your uterus that is discharged through your vagina, the blood from the endometrial tissue in your abdominal cavity has no place to go. Over time inflammation occurs and becomes trapped in your pelvis forming scar tissue, adhesions and fertility problems. Endometriosis is a progressive disease. It tends to get worse over time and can reoccur after treatment. It usually improves after menopause.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
You may experience painful menstrual periods, abnormal menstrual bleeding, pain during or after sexual intercourse, discomfort with bowl movement, lower back pain and pain in the lower abdomen, or you may not have any symptoms at all.
Cause of Endometriosis
The cause of endometriosis is still unknown. During menstruation some of the menstrual tissue backs up through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen, where it implants and grows. Other factors include a genetic birth abnormality in which endometrial cells develop outside the uterus during fetal development.