What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis (pronounced en-doh-mee-tree-oh-sis) is the name given to the condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body.
The name comes from the word “endometrium” which is the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus.
Each month these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape.
It is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It may also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems. Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition. Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of childbearing age, regardless of race or ethnicity.
Endometriosis is a puzzling disease that affects our hormones, our immune system (the system that fights germs and cancer), and the digestive tract (the system involved in the breakdown and absorption of our food).
Like the lining of the uterus, endometriosis growths usually respond to the hormones of the menstrual cycle. They can build up tissue and shed each cycle causing bleeding.
The result of this bleeding and the immune problems that are part of endo are the formation of scar tissue, pain, and other complications.