What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is the name of the disorder that occurs when the tissues that normally line the uterus, called endometrium, grow outside of the organ itself.
Women who are diagnosed with the condition may have endometrium growing on their ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the outside of their uterus; it may also be found along the tissues that line the pelvis. Common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Chronic pelvic pain, especially during menstruation
- Heavy menstrual bleeding, or bleeding between cycles
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Painful bowel movements or pain while urinating
Even when it’s outside the uterus, endometrium still acts as it normally would: It thickens, breaks down, and bleeds with every menstrual cycle.
But because these displaced tissues — also known as implants — have no way to exit your body, they often lead to the formation of scar tissue, ovarian cysts, or adhesions.