Endometrium is a layer of tissue that lines the inside of a woman’s uterus. The condition in which this tissue grows outside the uterus is known as endometriosis. Endometriosis mostly occurs on other reproductive organs like the ovaries, the fallopian tubes and the tissues surrounding the uterus and the ovaries, but it may also affect other organs as well. It usually remains restricted to the pelvic and lower abdomen region. This condition affects women within the ages of 30 to 40 years most frequently. Basically, it affects women during their reproductive years usually i.e. between 15 to 44 years.
This tissue i.e. the endometrium, irrespective of where it grows, continues to perform its function i.e. it thickens, breaks down and bleeds just as it does in a menstrual cycle. However, unlike the normal menstrual cycle, this blood cannot flow out of the body and thus gets trapped inside. This not only leads to severe pain during menstruation, it also causes irritation and eventually development of scar tissues on surrounding organs and may lead to fertility problems as well. Cysts called endometriomas may also form if endometriosis involves the ovaries.