Endometriosis is a term used to describe unnatural growth patterns of endometrial tissue. This tissue is meant to grow within the uterus to protect a fertilised egg early in pregnancy but can grow in other areas interrupting the function of the fallopian tubes or causing growths in the ovaries called endometriomas that effect follicle growth.
Symptoms of endometriosis include pelvic pain before and during menstruation, pain with intercourse, discomfort during urination or heavy periods.
Endometriosis can only be diagnosed definitely by laparoscopy, which involves putting a telescope into the abdomen under anaesthesia. Ultrasound scanning may suggest the presence of endometriotic cysts, in which case the diagnosis can be assumed.