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What happens in endometriosis and what does endometriosis look like: classical implants WHAT HAPPENS IN ENDOMETRIOSIS AND WHAT DOES ENDOMETRIOSIS LOOK LIKE: CLASSICAL IMPLANTS
Once the fragments of endometrium have implanted they begin to respond to the fluctuating levels of the menstrual cycle hormones in the same way as the endometrium lining the uterus. Thus, the implants thicken and swell with blood and then break down and bleed each month. This blood then cannot escape from the body so it bleeds directly onto the surface of the surrounding organs, causing irritation which leads to inflammation, scarring and, sometimes, the development of adhesions.
As the disease progresses the implants gradually enlarge in size and may form small cysts.
As a cyst enlarges, the pressure within the cyst may cause it to rupture during menstruation, spilling the contents onto the adjacent tissues. This may in turn lead to the development of new implants.
What does endometriosis look like
Classical implants-Until recently, endometrial implants were thought to be fairly uniform in appearance. However, in the last few years there has been a growing appreciation that they have a range of characteristic appearances.
It is now understood that what were traditionally recognized as being classical implants are, in fact, probably only one end of the spectrum of appearances and that they are probably only typical of older implants.
Classical implants usually appear as tiny dots, or clusters of dots, on the surface of the organ or ligament on which they have implanted. They are usually only pinhead in size but they may be up to a centimetre or more in diameter. They range in colour from brown to black depending on how much old blood they contain. When magnified they may look like clusters of black grapes.
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