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Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant). The function of the endometrium is to support the zygote after fertilization, allowing its implantation.

Each month, a woman’s ovaries produce hormones that tell the cells lining the uterus to swell and get thicker. Your uterus sheds these cells along with blood and tissue through your vagina when you have your period.

Endometriosis occurs when these cells grow outside the uterus in other parts of your body. This tissue may attach on your ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, the lining of the pelvic area or other parts of the body.

These growths stay in your body. They do not shed when you have your period. But, like the cells in your uterus, these growths react to the hormones from your ovaries. They grow and bleed when you get your period. Over time, the growths may add more tissue and blood. The buildup of blood and tissue in your body leads to inflammation, pain, scarring and other symptoms.

Endometriosis is a chronic illness. No one knows what causes it although a genetic predisposition has been proven to exist. An estimated 7 – 15% of women in fertile age are affected by endometriosis.


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