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Thread: What is Endometriosis

  1. #1

    Default What is Endometriosis

    Taken from

    What is Endometriosis?

    Endometriosis (pronounced end-oh-mee-tree-oh-sis) is a condition where endometrium, the tissue which normally lines the uterus, is found in locations outside the uterus. This misplaced endometrium may be found on the ovaries, uterus, bowel, bladder, ligaments (bands of tissue that hold the uterus in place) and in the Pouch of Douglas (the area between the uterus and bowel).

    How does Endometriosis develop?

    It is still not known precisely how endometriosis develops. Several theories have been proposed in an attempt to explain the process. Of these the theory of mentrograde menstruation is by far the most popular and it probably explains the vast majority of cases.

    According to this theory endometriosis develops when menstrual fluid from the uterus flows backwards through the fallopian tubes and out into the pelvis during the menstrual period. This process of backward flow is known as retrograde menstruation. When the menstrual fluid flows out of the ends of the fallopian tubes it is deposited onto the surrounding organs and tissues. This menstrual fluid contains blood and living fragments of endometrium. Some of these fragments somehow implant themselves on the surface of the tissue or organ on which they were deposited and begin to grow and function. These 'patches' of implanted endometrium are known as endometrial implants or deposits.

    What happens in Endometriosis?

    Once the fragments of endometrium have implanted they begin to respond to the hormones of the menstrual cycle in the same way as the endometrium lining the uterus. Thus, under the influence of oestrogen the endometrium lining the uterus as well as the endometrial implants thicken and swell with blood in order to prepare for possible pregnancy. If a pregnancy does not occur then both the uterine endometrium and the endometrial implants break down and bleed. However, the blood from the endometrial implants cannot escape from the body so it bleeds directly onto the surface of the surrounding organs and tissues. This causes irritation which leads to inflammation, scarring and, sometimes, the development of adhesions between organs.

    As the disease progresses the implants may slowly enlarge in size and they may eventually form small cysts.

    Implants located on the ovary often enlarge in size more rapidly than in other locations and they may form quite large cysts. Usually these cysts are less than two or three centemetres in diameter but occasionally they may be as large as ten or more centimetres. Cysts on the ovary are known as chocolate cysts or endometriomas.

    Where is Endometriosis found?

    The overwhelming majority of endometrial implants and cysts are found within the pelvis. The most common sites are the ovaries, the uterosacaral ligaments, the Pouch of Douglas, and the lining of the pelvis which is known as the peritoneum. Less common sites include the appendix, the surface of the bladder, the surface of the uterus, and the surface of the small and large bowel. On very rare occasions endometrial implants have been found in almost every part of the body, including surgical scars, the lungs, the navel, the breasts and the nose.

    How common is Endometriosis?

    Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition and it is thought that it affects approximately 10% of women at some stage during their menstruating years. It is also one of the leading causes of infertility in women over the age of 25 and it is believed that approximately 30-40% of infertile women have some degree of endometriosis.

    Who gets Endometriosis?

    In the past it was often said that the typical woman with endometriosis was a white, middle class, career-oriented woman in her late twenties or early thirties who had deferred childbearing. However, the typical discription is a myth and with improved diagnosis since the introduction of laparoscopy endometriosis has been found in the entire spectrum of women. In particular, it has been shown that endometriosis can occur at any time between puberty and menopause and that it is frequently found in women who have had children.

  2. #2
    Mac Guest

    Default News

    Just happened to see this when browsing...

    Hope for endometriosis treatment

    Endometriosis affects 10-15% of women at some point in their lives

    Scientists say they have made a crucial step forward in understanding and treating endometriosis.

    This painful condition affects between 10 to 15% of women, and is caused by tissue that normally lines the womb growing elsewhere in the pelvis.

    Using mice, the team found excess iron promoted the rogue tissue growth.

    The discovery that iron-binding molecules reduced cell growth might lead to treatments, say the scientists in the journal Human Reproduction.

    Our findings represent a crucial step in finding the answer to endometriosis

    Endometriosis is an often painful condition.

    The menstrual cycle makes the wayward endometrial cells grow and break down as they would usually do in the womb, but the resulting internal bleeding, which has no outlet, can cause pain and scarring, sometimes leading to infertility.

    So far, scientists have been puzzled about the causes of the condition.

    But a team of scientists at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, believed that iron could be to blame, because of the high-levels of iron found in sufferers pelvises'.

    Some scientists believe the excess iron is created as the body breaks down the red blood cells from the monthly internal bleed.

    To test their hypothesis, the scientists induced endometriosis in mice.

    Future treatments

    In some of the mice, they added iron-containing red blood cells, in others they added a molecule, desferrioxamine, which binds to iron and neutralises its effect, and the rest were left with endometriosis alone.

    They discovered the numbers of lesions in the mice in the three experiments were approximately the same.

    But they found the cell growth in the lesions were much greater in the mice with added iron than in the mice that simply had endometriosis.

    By comparison, the mice treated with desferrioxamine had less cell activity than the other mice.

    The team concluded that iron was causing increased cell growth in the mice.

    Professor Jacques Donnez, lead author on the research and head of the department of gynaecology at the Catholic University of Louvain, said the use of iron-binding molecules might form the basis of future treatment for the condition.

    He said: "Our findings represent a crucial step in finding the answer to endometriosis because we are focusing our research more on the origins and causes of the disease in the context of prevention, than on surgical treatment when the disease is already present.

    "We really hope that, in the future, genetics will help us to determine the population of young women at high risk of endometriosis, and that treatment, resulting from our findings, may then prevent the development or evolution of the disease."

    'Important observation'

    Tony Rutherford, a spokesman for the British Fertility Society and a consultant gynaecologist at Leeds General Infirmary, UK, said: "Endometriosis is a condition which affects many women and is particularly prevalent in the Western world.

    "It can cause a great deal of problems, from pelvic pain to infertility.

    "This paper shows that iron may be a factor which stimulates the number of cells in the endometrial tissue.

    "It is an important observation, but this is a mouse study, and you cannot always translate animal studies into humans, so further studies are needed to see whether this will truly be of clinical benefit."
    Hope it is of use.
    Last edited by {sarah}; April 12th, 2007 at 08:04 AM. Reason: Removed link

  3. #3
    sharont Guest

    Default advice any one

    i have just been told i have endomtriosis i am pleased i now no what is wrong with me but my main concern is i had a laproscapy twenty years ago to see if i could have children and the tests came back fine,i then went on to have 21 goes at iui and one ivf,no children two miscarages,im realy worried ive had endometriosis all this time? can this be true? i am now 39 can anyone put any light on this querey for me

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Point Clare


    Hi there,
    I am not sure if I can shed light, but I can tell you of my recent experience.
    I have only been trying a short time, with the help of clomid to ovulate (irregular periods).
    I had day surgery 2 weeks ago and the doctor was even surprised to see the endometriosis, as I had no other symptoms. It is now removed, along with adhesions that looked like spider webs, and I have one functioning tube and the other not so good....
    I would recommend any one who hasn't had day surgery to try it, it is slightly painful, but I guess I have had a spring clean of my insides, so fingers crossed.
    I am also adopted, so I need to test all avenues to the extreme, seeing as I have no medical history (not that I am suggesting it is passed down, but I can't assume I am just a healthy 30 year old.
    Cheers and thanks for reading my FIRST post on this site

  5. #5

    Default endometriosis

    My doctor, Lynn Burmeister, is a great ob/gyn, pregnancy and fertility doctor and has written papers about endometriosis and pcos. If you need information about this condition you may want to look on the web for her papers. She's great and knows tons about this. Good luck!

  6. #6
    camelia Guest

    Default Need a "good" gyneacologyst in Perth

    Hi there!

    I found your message interesting and I wish to meet that "good" gyneacologyst in Perth. I suffer for the last 4 years and diagnosed with IBS. recently I read on the net about endo and it's symtoms and surprise!!! they mostly coincide with the IBS.
    I went to see a gyneacologyst who suggested without much thinking : hysterectomy!!!

    Is this the way that gyneacologysts should consult and give the beat treatment to their patients? Recomending to drink plenty of water and have a hysterectomy?

    I'm really disapointed with the chances of finding a real doctor. All are charging you for the visit and without any personal confort go for extreme diagnostic recomend no treatment or radical solutions such as hysterectomy.

    Please let me know where can I find these "good" doctors, as I arrived to the end of all my hopes...



  7. #7


    Hi Camelia,
    I am sorry for the confusion but my doctor is based in Melbourne, not in Perth. If you wish to contact her, her name is Dr Lynn Burmeister and she might be able to suggest someone in Perth... but I really do not know if she knows anyone there. Sorry once again for the misunderstanding and Good Luck.

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