Endometriosis is a medical condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside the uterus. This tissue can grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer surface of the uterus, and other organs in the pelvic region.
The tissue grows, thickens, and bleeds in response to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, just like the endometrium lining inside the uterus. However, unlike the endometrium, this tissue has no way to exit the body. This can cause inflammation, scarring, and adhesions, which can lead to pain and infertility.
Endometriosis affects women of reproductive age and is a common cause of chronic pelvic pain, painful periods, and infertility. It can also cause other symptoms, such as fatigue, bloating, and bowel or bladder problems. Treatment options may include medication, surgery, or a combination of both, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the desire for future fertility.