Endometriosis is a common problem in women of reproductive age, ranked third among Gynecological problems, and consists of the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. The most frequent sites where this tissue is located are the pelvic peritoneum, the ovaries, the cul-de-sac and the tubo-ovarian ligaments.
Risk factors that have been associated with endometriosis are: mother or sisters with a history of endometriosis, heavy menstruation, short menstrual cycles and early menarche, as these women appear to be exposed to a greater amount of endometrial tissue.
Endometriosis is a problem exclusive to the reproductive age, as it is directly related to the growth of endometrial tissue stimulated by hormones during the menstrual cycle. It begins with menarche and is a progressive disease, which is why it is sometimes not detected during puberty but later in life.
The predominant symptom is intense pain during menstruation, which begins prior to menstrual flow and increases until it becomes intense during heavy flow and begins to decrease until it disappears with the cessation of menstruation; this pain is characterised by being progressive and incapacitating as age advances. In addition to pelvic pain, back pain, dyspareunia, pain during defecation, pain when changing position and, in extreme cases, pain during urination may occur.
It is very important to emphasise that each case is different, while some women with complicated cases of endometriosis show no symptoms, others with mild endometriosis may experience the pain that is characteristic of this condition.