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What is endometriosis?

What is endometriosis?

Dr Louisa Draper

"It is important to see your GP if you have symptoms of endometriosis. Endometriosis is common and affects 1 in 10 women in the UK. It can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms vary and are similar to those found in other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)." - Dr Louisa Draper

Dr Louisa Draper

"It is important to see your GP if you have symptoms of endometriosis. Endometriosis is common and affects 1 in 10 women in the UK. It can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms vary and are similar to those found in other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)."

Dr Louisa Draper

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus (the endometrium) is found growing outside of the womb. This displaced tissue behaves like it normally would, thickening, breaking down and bleeding during your menstrual cycle. However, because there is no way for this material to exit your body, it can irritate surrounding tissues, causing damage and scarring. The abnormal tissue can also bind together, forming adhesions. 

Usually, the abnormal tissue is found within the pelvic area, commonly affecting the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel, bladder or the lining of the abdomen. Some women also develop ovarian cysts, which can become very large and painful. In rare cases, endometriosis can spread beyond the pelvic region. 

Last reviewed: 17.9.19 by Dr Simran Deo