What is Endometriosis?Endometriosis is a painful disease that affects up to 10% of women during their childbearing years. It happens when cells that normally line the uterus migrate and appear in other parts of the body. These cells respond to monthly hormonal fluctuations and grow blood-rich tissue and shed it, just as they would inside the uterus. This can result in pain, and the bleeding can cause scar tissue to form. The thick, inflexible scar tissue (called an adhesion) can become very painful if it stops organs within the body from being able to move freely. Endometriosis can happen almost anywhere in the body, but it happens most often within the pelvic cavity. The endometriosis lesions are most often seen on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic wall, bladder, bowel, and intestines. Specific symptoms of endometriosis depend on where the lesions are located, but the most common are:
- Pain, especially with the menstrual cycle
- Diarrhea or constipation during the menstrual cycle
- Abdominal bloating
- Heavy or irregular periods
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