Endometriosis is a disease of the female reproductive system in which cells similar to those in the endometrium, the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus, grow outside the uterus.

Pain and infertility are common symptoms, although 20–25% of women are asymptomatic. Presence of pain symptoms are associated with the type of endometrial lesions as 50% of women with typical lesions, 10% of women with cystic ovarian lesions and 5% of women with deep endometriosis do not have pain.

Retrograde menstrual flow is the most likely cause of endometriosis. Some of the tissue shed during the period flows through the fallopian tube into other areas of the body, such as the pelvis. Genetic factors. Limited evidence indicates that the use of combined oral contraceptives is associated with a reduced risk of endometriosis, as is regular exercise and the avoidance of alcohol and caffeine.

Endometriosis is a heritable condition that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Children or siblings of people with endometriosis are at higher risk of developing endometriosis themselves; low progesterone levels may be genetic, and may contribute to a hormone imbalance.

A health history and a physical examination can lead the health care practitioner to suspect endometriosis. There is a clear benefit for undergoing an ultrasound diagnostic procedure (TVUS) as a first step of testing for endometriosis.

While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are two types of interventions; treatment of pain and treatment of endometriosis-associated infertility. In many cases, menopause (natural or surgical) will abate the process. In the reproductive years, endometriosis is merely managed: the goal is to provide pain relief, to restrict progression of the process, and to restore or preserve fertility where needed.

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