How is endometriosis


Endometriosis is a benign, usually painful growth of tissue in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) that settles outside the uterus in neighboring organs. The lower abdominal or pelvic area, the ovaries and fallopian tubes and the deeper wall layers of the uterus are often affected. In principle, the endometrium can grow anywhere in the body.

These dispersed endometrial foci grow during the monthly cycle in the same way as the uterine lining. Associated with this are cramp-like pain and often chronic abdominal and back pain that occurs during the menstrual cycle. Since they bleed with every menstruation, but the blood usually cannot drain away, cysts often form at the same time.

As different as the places where the endometrium settles are, the extent of the disease can be just as different. Often only pin-head-sized deposits are found, but larger, blood-filled cysts can also develop - especially on the ovaries. Furthermore, the fallopian tubes can stick together, in very pronounced cases sticking between the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, urinary bladder and intestine is also possible.

The name of the disease is derived from the endometrium, the medical name for the lining of the uterus. Usually this mucous membrane only lines the inside of the uterine cavity.


The number of women with endometriosis is difficult to estimate. Many women have no symptoms; endometriosis is often discovered by chance or not at all. It takes an average of 10.4 years from the appearance of the first symptoms to the final diagnosis [1].

Information on the incidence of the disease varies between 5 and 15 percent of women of fertile age [2]. The condition is considered to be one of the major causes of female infertility. Endometriosis is the cause of around 40 to 60% of women who involuntarily remain childless. Unrecognized and accordingly untreated, this disease can progress to the onset of menopause.

[1] Hudelist, G., et al., Diagnostic delay for endometriosis in Austria and Germany: causes and possible consequences. Hum Reprod, 2012. 27 (12): p. 3412-6.

[2] Sayasneh, A., D. Tsivos, and R. Crawford, Endometriosis and ovarian cancer: a systematic review. ISRN Obstet Gynecol, 2011. 2011: p. 140310.

Author (s): äin-red