What is endometriosis?

A good and short explanation of what endometriosis is, I found on a website:

http://visanne.com/en/home_/

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the one lining the inside of the womb, known as the endometrium, can be found outside the womb itself or on other nearby organs, such as the pelvic wall ovaries, bladder, and bowel.

During a woman’s monthly cycle the hormone estrogen makes the endometrium thicken. Some of it is shed and leaves the body with menstrual blood during a period. Sometimes the menstrual blood can flow backwards through the fallopian tubes into the pelvic area. This is known as retrograde menstruation; it is not harmful and occurs in most menstruating women. In most women any stray pieces of endometrium in the menstrual blood are removed by the immune system. However, in women with endometriosis the pieces attach to the outer surface of nearby organs to become endometriotic lesions.

These endometriotic lesions are also stimulated by estrogen and can cause irritation and inflammation. Many women live with the burden of endometriosis; experiencing severe pain that can affect them both physically and emotionally in their everyday performance, activities, and personal relationships.

If you have endometriosis, you are not alone. Endometriosis is a common gynaecological condition that is thought to affect up to 10% of all women of child-bearing age.

Women from all ethnic and social groups are affected, but studies have shown that in particular:
– 70% of women with pelvic pain
– 40–60% of women with severe menstrual cramps
– 25–40% of infertile women suffer from endometriosis.

More detail and treatment options can be found at the following website:
http://www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Woman/Menstruation/Endometriosis-20120721

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