Endometriosis is an inflammatory disorder caused when endometrial cells from the uterus that are typically shed during menstruation migrate and thrive elsewhere in the body. It is a common condition in women, occurring with various degrees of severity in up to 10 percent of women of child bearing age.

The primary symptom is pain in the pelvis. The pain does not always correlate to the severity of the endometriosis and can range from moderate to severe. It can be chronic, or may get worse during menstruation. It may also get worse during sex (causing it to be painful), and can interfere with urination. It can range anywhere from the lower back to the upper legs. Infertility is a common complication. It can also cause a wide range of other symptoms including constipation, fatigue or heavy and uncontrollable menstrual flows.

The endometrial cells can form cysts which can either press against other organs (most notably, the bladder). Endometrial cysts can also rupture and bleed, causing a medical emergency.

The exact cause of the disorder is unknown. However, it is clear that the presence of estrogen is a necessary component as the disease will resolve itself at menopause.

Endometriosis cannot be cured, but it can be managed with hormone therapy. Surgery can be used to remove adhesions, cysts and lesions.
Endometriosis loc en

The possible locations of endometriosis, via Wikipedia commons

Endometriosis at Wikipedia

Endometriosis at the Mayo Clinic

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