Endometriosis is a condition characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. Endometrial tissue, which is also known as endometrium, is a specialized tissue which regenerates each month within the uterus. During the first 2 weeks of a womans cycle, the endometrium proliferates in response to the natural hormones produced by the ovaries. After about 2 weeks, once ovulation occurs, the endometrium transitions to a receptive state in preparation of an embryo. If an embryo is present, the endometrium provides a nutrient rich location for implantation. If no embryo is present, the endometrial tissue degenerates and sloughs out of the uterus in the form of a period.
In endometriosis, the endometrial tissue migrates out of the uterus. It can be present on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, abdominal wall, intestines, rectum or even distant organs such as the liver, diaphragm or lung. Although the endometriosis tissue is not inside the uterus, it still responds to the ovarian hormones as if it were. Consequently, there is monthly growth followed by degeneration. Unlike the uterine environment however, the degenerated tissue of endometriosis has no-where to slough to. This leads to internal bleeding with inflammation and scarring inside the body.
To read more about endometriosis, take a look at this recent article in the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/your-guide-to-endometriosis-_n_1400398.html . Additionally, feel free to contact one of our doctors to discuss endometriosis further.