Endometriosis (from endo, “inside”, and metra, “womb”) is a gynecological medical condition in women in which endometrial-like cells appear and flourish in areas outside the uterine cavity, most commonly on the ovaries. The uterine cavity is lined by endometrial cells, which are under the influence of female hormones. These endometrial-like cells in areas outside the uterus (endometriosis) are influenced by hormonal changes and respond in a way that is similar to the cells found inside the uterus. Symptoms often worsen with the menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis is typically seen during the reproductive years; it has been estimated that endometriosis occurs in roughly 5-10% of women. Symptoms may depend on the site of active endometriosis. Its main but not universal symptom is pelvic pain in various manifestations. Endometriosis is a common finding in women with infertility.
The two most common imaging tests are ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Normal results on these tests do not eliminate the possibility of endometriosis. Areas of endometriosis are often too small to be seen by these tests.
Pelvic endometriosis with severe adhesions
Endometriosis in a 37-year-old woman with RLQ pain and a right adnexal mass at US
Deep Pelvic Endometriosis: MR Imaging for Diagnosis and Prediction of Extension of Disease