A woman's uterus is lined with endometrial cells. In endometriosis, dislocated cells called implant...
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A woman's uterus is lined with endometrial cells. In endometriosis, dislocated cells called implants grow on organ tissues located outside the uterus. The most common sites are the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and other areas in the pelvic cavity. Occasionally they move beyond the pelvic region. Like the cells inside the uterus, dislocated endometrial cells are influenced by female hormones. The tissue lining the uterus thickens each month in preparation for pregnancy. If no egg is implanted, the tissue is shed through menstruation. Along with the tissue inside the uterus, the implants also become thicker, break down, and bleed. But there is no way to get rid of the excess tissue. Scar tissue and adhesions can form that distort the normal anatomy. Pelvic pain and bleeding are the most common symptoms of endometriosis. Some women also have more difficulty becoming pregnant. Although the exact cause is unknown, anatomical changes or problems related to hormone production may be responsible. Whatever the cause, it is believed to be worsened by estrogen. Oral contraceptives and hormone therapy can help control pain and shrink implants. Implants and scar tissue may require surgical removal, in a surgical procedure, termed laparoscopy.