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Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue from the membrane that normally lines the uterus — the endometrium — grows outside the uterus, typically on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines or other areas in the pelvis. This tissue acts just like the endometrium in accumulating blood in the monthly menses period, but it has no place to shed the blood at the end of the cycle. The accumulation of tissue and blood can cause inflammation and scarring, which can lead to other conditions, particularly pelvic pain and infertility. Blood trapped in the ovaries may develop into benign cysts called endometrioma.

Between 25 and 50 percent of infertile women are estimated to have endometriosis. Endometriosis affects more than one million women in the United States and at this time, the exact cause of the condition is unknown.

Our Approach to Endometriosis

UCSF provides personalized care to women with all stages of endometriosis. Our team includes gynecologic surgeons, physical therapists, urogynecologists, sexual health specialists, alternative and integrative medicine providers, pain specialists, infertility doctors, radiologists and psychologists. We work together to create comprehensive treatment plans that address each woman's symptoms and complications, from pelvic pain to infertility. For women considering surgery, we offer minimally invasive approaches to several procedures.

We believe that empowering women with knowledge is an important part of the healing process, and encourage each patient to participate in choosing the best treatment option for her.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.