Endometriosis: Definition

What is endometriosis?


Endometriosis is a benign but very painful chronic disease affecting young women. It is diagnosed in 0.5% to 5% of all women. In women who are unable to fall pregnant, endometriosis of diagnosed in up to 40% of cases and is therefore one of the most common reasons for the inability to fall pregnant.


Endometriosis causes tissue, which is similar to that of the uterine mucous membrane (endometrium), to develop in the wrong regions of the lower abdomen and colonise various organs, e.g., the surface of the womb, the peritoneum, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, and intestines. In rare cases, other organs can also be affected, e.g., the lungs. In the majority of cases, these focal areas of endometrial growth are influenced by the hormones produced during the monthly menstrual cycles. Growth and bleeding can be cyclical. The consequences are inflammatory reaction, the development of cysts, and scarring and adhesions in the abdominal cavity. There can be a manifestation of painful symptoms corresponding directly to the stage of the menstrual cycle.