What Is It?
Endometrial tissue lines the inside of the uterus. In endometriosis, this tissue grows outside of the uterus.
Endometriosis may develop in the:
Misplaced endometrial tissue behaves like endometrial tissue in the uterus. It responds to the monthly rise and fall of female hormones. It also can ooze blood during menstruation. This can cause pelvic or abdominal pain.
As misplaced endometrial tissue grows, it can interfere with a woman's fertility. It may cover or grow into the ovaries. Or it may distort or block the fallopian tubes.
Endometrial tissue on the ovaries may form into large fluid-filled cysts. These are called endometriomas.
A woman may have an increased risk of endometriosis if:
A woman's risk is probably lower than average if:
Page 1 of 9 Next Page: Endometriosis Symptoms
From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.
You can find more great health information on the Harvard Health Publications website.