Endometriosis is a condition in which fragments of cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (the endometrium) are found elsewhere in the body. As the endometrium grows during the menstrual cycle so do the fragments, often causing severe pain. They then break down and bleed, just like the uterus lining. However, this internal bleeding, unlike a period, has no way of leaving the body, and leads to inflammation, pain, and the formation of scar tissue (adhesions).

Endometriosis most commonly involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs.

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