Endometriosis affects more than 5.5 million women in the US and can have a major impact on quality of life. Although endometriosis is one of the top three causes of female infertility, not all women diagnosed with this female condition become infertile. But what is endometriosis?
What is endometriosis?
The lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, is made up of cells that combine into endometrial tissue. Endometriosis occurs when this endometrial tissue grows elsewhere in the body. The misplaced tissue implants itself onto the surface of the tissue or organ where it has been deposited and begins to grow and function. This endometrial tissue looks and acts like tissue in the uterus and most often appears in places within the pelvis or the abdomen such as the:
In rare cases, endometriosis also may be found in other parts of the body. Endometrial tissue outside the uterus responds to changes in hormones, breaks down and bleeds like the lining of the uterus during the menstrual cycle. The breakdown and bleeding of this tissue each month can cause scar tissue, called adhesions, that cause pain. Sometimes, adhesions bind organs together.
Now that we understand some of the basics of endometriosis, what causes this disorder? And what puts a woman at risk for developing it? Continue reading for more information about causes of endometriosis pain here.