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A disorder in which tissue resembling the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) appears at unusual location in the lower abdomen. This tissue may be found: on the ovary surfaces; behind the uterus, low in the pelvic cavity; on the intestinal wall; and rarely at other sites far away. The 4 stages (classification) of endometriosis (minimal, mild, moderate or severe) are used to describe the anatomic location and the severity of the disorder. Endometriosis can affect females between puberty and menopause, but is most common between ages 20 and 30.

Frequent Signs And Symptoms

The following symptoms may begin abruptly or develop over many years:


Unknown, but the following theory is most accepted among medical professionals:
Normally during ovulation, the uterus lining thickens to prepare for implantation of a fertilized egg. If this does not occur, the lining tissue peels away from the uterus and is expelled in the menstrual flow. In some cases, this material builds up and passes backward out of the fallopian tubes into the pelvic cavity. Here it floats freely and attaches itself to other tissues.

The transplanted tissue reacts each month as if it were still in the uterus, thickening and peeling away. New bits of peeled-off tissue create new implants. The growing endometrial tissue between pelvic organs may cause them to adhere together, producing pain and other symptoms.

Risk Increases In / With

Preventive Measures

There are no known preventive steps. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment help the spread of endometriosis.

Expected Outcome

Possible Complications


General Measures




Some diet changes may help. Avoid caffeine. It seems to aggravate pain in some women

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