What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is when cells similar to ones in the lining of the womb, also known as the endometrium, grow somewhere that isn’t the inside of the uterus.
Just like endometrial cells, those cells respond to hormones by growing and sometimes even bleeding, just like a period. Unlike in the uterus, there’s no way for the cells and blood to escape, so it stays trapped, causing lumps, pain, inflammation and scarring.
Usually, endometriosis is found growing in the pelvis, pelvic lining, the ovaries, the bowel and the bladder. But up to 10% of people with the disease have it outside the pelvis, as far reaching as the lungs or brain.
It affects 10% of people assigned female at birth - but there may be even more as there are so many barriers to diagnosis.
extreme period pain
chronic pelvic pain
heavy menstrual bleeding
chronic pain outside the pelvis
bleeding between periods
difficulty getting pregnant
pain when going to the toilet
pain during or after sex
Symptoms don’t always correlate to how much endometriosis there is or where it is found.
People with endometriosis are also more likely to have other immune and chronic pain conditions, which means sometimes it’s difficult to say what exactly is causing the symptoms.