Researchers in Southampton have found new insight into why some women have difficulty in becoming pregnant.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition affecting around 10 per cent of women and is associated with chronic abdominal pain, irregular periods, and lowered fertility.
In order to become pregnant a woman must produce a mature egg. Maturation occurs in fluid-filled structures called follicles in the ovary. The mature eggs are then released to become fertilised however eggs in women who have endometriosis are affected by a very hostile uterine environment that lowers fertility. It is assumed that the egg itself, before it is released, is not affected by the endometriosis.