Endometriosis is a chronic condition that occurs when a woman's uterine tissue grows outside her uterus. The tissues grow in clumps called implants and may spread to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, and other abdominal organs. Endometriosis affects about ten percent of women of reproductive age. Early diagnosis improves the prognosis, so it is important that women seek medical evaluation if they experience any of the condition's symptoms.
Depending on the severity of the condition, women often experience mild to severe pelvic pain when they develop endometriosis. The pain can occur just before or during menstruation, when ovulating, or in rare cases, at any time throughout the month. Endometrial tissue that grows outside the uterus will act as it normally would — it will thicken and bleed during menses, but in this unnatural location, this leads to inflammation, which further contributes to pelvic pain. Many women assume the pain is caused by their menstrual cycle, which can lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment.
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