Endometriosis is usually defined as the presence of endometrial-like tissue, that is, glands and stroma, outside the uterus. The most commonly affected sites are the pelvic organs and peritoneum, although other parts of the body such as the lungs are occasionally affected. The disease varies from a few, small lesions on otherwise normal pelvic organs to solid infiltrating masses and ovarian endometriotic cysts (endometriomas) - often with extensive fibrosis and adhesion formation causing marked distortion of pelvic anatomy. Endometriosis should be suspected in women with subfertility, severe dysmenorrhoea, deep dyspareunia and chronic pelvic pain. However, many affected women are asymptomatic in which case the diagnosis is only made when the pelvis is inspected for an unrelated reason, for example sterilization.
Was this article helpful?