Endometriosis (uterine tissue outside the uterus)
Pelvis | Urology | Endometriosis (uterine tissue outside the uterus) (Disease)
Endometriosis is a gynecological medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) appear and flourish outside the uterine cavity, most commonly on the ovaries. The uterine cavity is lined by endometrial cells, which are under the influence of female hormones. These endometrial-like cells in areas outside the uterus (endometriosis) are influenced by hormonal changes and respond in a way that is similar to the cells found inside the uterus. Symptoms often worsen with the menstrual cycle.
Rarely, endometriosis implants can occur outside the pelvis, on the liver, in old surgery scars, and even in or around the lung or brain. Endometrial implants, while they can cause problems, are benign (not cancerous).
Endometriosis affects women in their reproductive years. The exact prevalence of endometriosis is not known, since many women may have the condition and have no symptoms. While most cases of endometriosis are diagnosed in women aged around 25-35 years, endometriosis has been reported in girls as young as 11 years of age.
Most women who have endometriosis, in fact, do not have symptoms. Of those who do experience symptoms, the common symptoms are pain (usually pelvic) and infertility. Pelvic pain usually occurs during or just before menstruation and lessens after menstruation. Some women experience painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia) or cramping during intercourse, and or/pain during bowel movements and/or urination. Even pelvic examination by a doctor can be painful. The pain intensity can change from month to month, and vary greatly among women.
Causes and Risk factors
The cause of endometriosis is unknown. It is supposed that the endometrial tissue is deposited in unusual locations by the backing up of menstrual flow into the Fallopian tubes and the pelvic and abdominal cavity during menstruation. The cause of retrograde menstruation is not clearly understood.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Endometriosis can be treated medically (with drugs or medicine) or with surgery. Sometimes both medicine and surgery are used. Some women also benefit from natural therapies. ...