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endometriosis(ĕn'dəmē'trē-ō`sĭs), a condition in which small pieces of the endometrium (the lining of the uterusuterus,
in most female mammals, hollow muscular organ in which the fetus develops and from which it is delivered at the end of pregnancy. The human uterus is pear-shaped and about 3 in. (7.
..... Click the link for more information. ) migrate to other places in the pelvic area. The endometrial fragments may move to the fallopian tubesfallopian tube
, either of a pair of tubes extending from the uterus to the paired ovaries in the human female, also called oviducts, technically known as the uterine tube.
..... Click the link for more information. , ovaries, or other pelvic structures (e.g., the bladder or rectum). The migrated tissue retains its character and changes with the fluctuations of the menstrual cycle, bleeding at the time of menstruationmenstruation,
periodic flow of blood and cells from the lining of the uterus in humans and most other primates, occurring about every 28 days in women. Menstruation commences at puberty (usually between age 10 and 17).
..... Click the link for more information. . The blood becomes trapped in cysts that can grow from the size of a pinhead to the size of a grapefruit. Symptoms of endometriosis can be absent or can include painful menstruation, severe abdominal or low back pain, painful intercourse, and rectal bleeding at the time of menstruation. Symptoms often disappear with pregnancy, but 30%–40% of women who have endometriosis are infertile.
The cause of endometriosis is unknown. One hypothesis is that the endometrial fragments move back up through the fallopian tubes rather than leaving the body with the menstrual flow. Diagnosis is by pelvic examination or laparoscopy. Treatment, which depends on the severity of the disease, may include a course of oral contraceptives, or danazol if the patient is trying to conceive. In severe cases surgical removal of the cysts or hysterectomyhysterectomy
, surgical removal of the uterus. A hysterectomy may involve removal of the uterus only or additional removal of the cervix (base of the uterus), fallopian tubes (salpingectomy), and ovaries (oophorectomy).
..... Click the link for more information. may be performed.
a gynecological disorder characterized by the tumorlike growth in various organs of endometrioid tissue that structurally and functionally resembles the uterine mucous membrane, or endometrium. The disease generally develops in women between the ages of 30 and 50. Its cause has not been established. One theory is that the condition is caused by the migration of endometrial tissue through blood vessels and the uterine tubes to pelvic organs and other parts of the body. A distinction is made between endometriosis interna (endometrial growths in internal genital organs—most often the uterus and ovaries) and endometriosis externa (growths outside the uterus—in the umbilicus, perineum, intestine, and elsewhere).
Endometriosis is characterized by cyclical changes in the endometrioid masses and by hemorrhages in focuses of the growths during menstruation. Pain is felt before and during menstruation. Endometriosis of the uterus, also known as adenomyosis, intensifies and prolongs menstrual bleeding. The condition may result in sterility. Endometriosis is usually treated by hormonal preparations and uterine agents; some cases require surgery or radiotherapy.