Endometriosis lesions can be found anywhere in the pelvic cavity: on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and on the pelvic sidewall. Other common sites include the uterosacral ligaments, the cul-de-sac, the Pouch of Douglas, and in the rectal-vaginal septum.
In rare cases, endometriosis has been found inside the vagina, inside the bladder, on the skin, even in the lung, spine, and brain.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. The pain often correlates to the menstrual cycle, but a woman with endometriosis may also experience pain which doesn’t match with this. For many women, the pain of endometriosis is so severe that it impacts their lives in significant ways.
Endometriosis can also cause scar tissue and adhesions, that can distort a woman’s internal anatomy. In advanced stages, internal organs may fuse together, causing a condition known as a "frozen pelvis."
It is estimated that 30-40% of women with endometriosis are infertile.
The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but several theories are there :
It has been suggested that endometrial tissue can, during menstruation, pass back along the fallopian tubes into the pelvic or abdominal cavities (a process called retrograde menstruation). According to this theory some of the menstrual blood flows backwards down the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis.
It has also been proved that endometrial cells can be carried in the blood and lymph vessels to remote parts of the body.
Endometriosis is more common in close relatives of women with the disease. It is rare in women of Afro-Caribbean origin and more common in Asian women than in white women. This suggests that genetics may be involved.
Other sources of information for these topics.
The Endometriosis Association
Non-profit organization dedicated to providing information and support to women with endometriosis, educating the public as well as the medical community ...
Endometriosis, Current information on the treatment including medical, surgical and alternative medicine.
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