The main complication of endometriosis is difficulty getting pregnant or not being able to get pregnant at all (infertility). In some cases, there may also be adhesions or ovarian cysts.
Endometriosis can sometimes damage the fallopian tubes or ovaries, causing fertility problems. However, it's estimated up to 70% of women with mild to moderate endometriosis will eventually be able to get pregnant without treatment.
Medication won't improve fertility. Surgery to remove visible patches of endometriosis tissue can help, but there's no guarantee this will allow you to get pregnant.
If you're having difficulty getting pregnant, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) offers a good chance of conception, although women with endometriosis tend to have a lower chance of getting pregnant with IVF than others, such as women with blocked fallopian tubes.
Read information about treating infertility .
Other problems include the formation of:
These can both occur if the endometriosis tissue is in or near the ovaries. Both of these complications can be removed through surgery, but may recur if the endometriosis returns.
Read information about treating ovarian cysts .
Endometriosis is a common condition where small pieces of the womb lining (the endometrium) are found outside the womb.
The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but there are several theories.
Endometriosis can be difficult to treat. The aim of treatment is to ease the symptoms.