Endometriosis affects females of the reproductive age. The inner lining ofthe uterus is called endometrium. This inner lining is normally built up monthly and shed during the period. Endometriosis consists of this type of endometrial tissue being found outside the uterus, in various areas. It usually manifests itself as nodules, lesions, implants or growths. More commonly the locations are in the pelvic area. However they can be found in the abdomen or outer genital areas. Rarely they can be located in distant areas such as the arm, chest, thigh or lungs.
The problem with having endometrial lining tissue in various locations is due to the pain. This pain is caused by the breakdown and bleeding in these areas. There is inflammation and scarring also. Adhesion formation, obstruction and hemorrhage are possible. The pain is usually associated with periods, intercourse and sometimes with bowel movements. Infertility can result in 35% of cases. Diagnosis of endometriosis early in its progression can help prevent infertility. Treatment is by surgery and medications to help eliminate endometriosis.
The following can be beneficial:
- Combined oral contraceptives
- Levonorgestrel Intrauterine system
- Medroxyprogesterone acetate injection every 3 months.
- Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs
- GnRH agonist
Treatment will depend on the individual situation.
1) Schenken RS. Pathogenesis. In: Schenken RS,ed. Endometriosis: Contemporary Concepts in Clinical Management. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott;1989.
2) Kennedy S,et al. ESHRE guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. Hum Reprod. 2005; 20(10):2698-2704.
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