Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) grows outside the uterus. This tissue can grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the ligaments that support the uterus and other organs in your body, such as the bladder, bowel and vagina.
Like the lining of the uterus, areas of endometriosis respond to the hormones of the menstrual cycle. The endometrial areas build up tissue each month, then break down and bleed during menstruation. However, when endometrial growths outside the uterus bleed, they can irritate the body.
Your body reacts to this process every month by surrounding this blood and tissue with scar tissue. Eventually, the swelling, stretching of tissues, inflammation and scarring can lead to symptoms even when you are not having your period.
Endometriosis can lead to symptoms such as chronic pelvic pain, pain during sexual intercourse, painful menstrual discomfort and infertility.
Some women with moderate to severe endometriosis have very little or no pain while other women with minimal endometriosis may experience severe pain.
For more information about endometriosis and its possible treatment options, click here .