Endometriosis is the condition in which the tissue lining of the uterus, called endometrium grows outside of the uterus, spanning fallopian tubes, ovaries, lining of pelvis, abdomen area and other surrounding tissues. This results in excruciating pain and inflammation which form lesions.
The normal menstrual cycle involves, developing the uterine lining, breaking it and shedding the same through the vagina. The excessive tissue growth responds to the menstrual cycle and follows the similar, developing - breaking - Shedding cycle. But, since there is no way for the tissue to leave the body, it causes internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions and inflammation; causing a cascade of problems.
The severity ranges from minimal - mild - moderate - severe. The exact reason for endometriosis is not known yet. Researches however link it to genetics, migration of affected tissue through lymph or blood, migration of affected tissue back into the fallopian tubes and ovaries etc.
Endometriosis and infertility
About half of the women who are diagnosed of infertility have endometriosis as the underlying problem. The condition makes it difficult to conceive, few of the reasons are:
• The excessive tissue growth tends to clog the fallopian tubes, stopping the egg from reaching the uterus and thus mating with the sperm.
• Toxins in the peritoneal fluid, which is the lubricating fluid between abdominal wall and pelvic cavity
• Abnormal immune response, where antibodies are produced; resulting in the damage of sperm/egg/embryo.
• Failure of egg sac (follicle) to release its egg.
The following video shows the difference between normal menstrual cycle and what happens during endometriosis