Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition, affecting 2 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age. It occurs when a tissue similar to endometrium—the tissue that lines the uterus and is shed once a month as part of the menstrual cycle—builds up on other internal organs near the uterus. This can cause internal bleeding and infertility.

In women with endometriosis, this misplaced tissue grows on reproductive organs inside the pelvis or in the abdominal cavity and is shed every month like uterine tissue. Unlike menstrual fluid from the uterus, blood from this tissue has nowhere to go, causing surrounding organs to become inflamed or swollen.

This process can produce scar tissue, which may develop into lesions or growths. In some cases, particularly when an ovary is affected, the blood can become embedded in the tissue, forming blood blisters that may become surrounded by a fibrous cyst.

For some women, endometriosis can be a debilitating disease, causing ongoing pain; for others, it may cause no symptoms at all. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of women with endometriosis have difficulty conceiving a child.

For more information, see the Yale Medical Group's Endometriosis online health resource.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition, affecting 2 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age. It occurs when a tissue similar to endometrium—the tissue that lines the uterus and is shed once a month as part of the menstrual cycle—builds up on other internal organs near the uterus. This can cause internal bleeding and infertility.

In women with endometriosis, this misplaced tissue grows on reproductive organs inside the pelvis or in the abdominal cavity and is shed every month like uterine tissue. Unlike menstrual fluid from the uterus, blood from this tissue has nowhere to go, causing surrounding organs to become inflamed or swollen.

This process can produce scar tissue, which may develop into lesions or growths. In some cases, particularly when an ovary is affected, the blood can become embedded in the tissue, forming blood blisters that may become surrounded by a fibrous cyst.

For some women, endometriosis can be a debilitating disease, causing ongoing pain; for others, it may cause no symptoms at all. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of women with endometriosis have difficulty conceiving a child.

For more information, see the Yale Medical Group's Endometriosis online health resource.