Endometriosis is a condition where cells from the uterus (womb) are found elsewhere in the body. These cells react in the same way as those within the uterus but as they are located outside the womb they are not released from the body and result in inflammation, pain, and the formation of scar tissue (adhesions).
Endometriosis tissue in the ovary can form cysts, called ‘chocolate cysts’ because of their appearance. It is most commonly found inside the pelvis, around the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, on the outside of the womb or the ligaments (which hold the womb in place), or the area between the rectum and the womb, called the Pouch of Douglas. It can also be found on the bowel, the bladder, the vagina and the rectum.
What causes bowel endometriosis?
Endometriosis can affect the bowel in the abdomen and pelvis. It can be on the surface of the bowel (superficial) or penetrate the bowel wall (deep endometriosis). Recto-vaginal nodules probably start superficially on the surface and progress to deep infiltrating disease growing through the wall of the bowel. There are lots of theories, but the exact cause of bowel endometriosis is not known.
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