Originally described over three hundred years ago, endometriosis is classically defined by the presence of endometrial glands and stroma in extrauterine locations. Endometriosis is an inflammatory, estrogen-dependent condition associated with pelvic pain and infertility. This work reviews the disease process from theories regarding origin to the molecular basis for disease sequelae. A thorough understanding of the histopathogenesis and pathophysiology of endometriosis is essential to the development of novel diagnostic and treatment approaches for this debilitating condition.
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