Causes of Infertility
What Is Endometriosis?
Approximately 8 percent of the female population has endometriosis, but up to 20 or more percent of infertile women have endometriosis. Painful menses is often a sign of endometriosis. If you have painful menses you may have endometriosis.
Endometriosis is tissue, just like the endometrial lining of the cavity of the uterus, except it is located outside of the uterus. It can be present on the ovaries, tubes, uterus, bladder or bowel and other parts of the body. It behaves just like endometrial tissue, so it grows in the beginning of the cycle and bleeds just as if you were having a period. Blood is very irritating to the abdominal cavity and researchers believe this irritation causes an inflammatory response with the formation of scar tissue and adhesions.
This response can cause kinking of the tubes, blockage of the tubes, and formation of endometriomas – big blood blisters of growing and bleeding endometrium. It is also thought that endometriosis forms toxic factors and cytokines that are detrimental to the developing egg and embryo.