ENDOMETRIOSIS
disorders of the endocrine glands and
the hormones that they secrete is called
an endocrinologist.
endodontics
A branch of
dentistry
concerned with
the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and
treatment of disease and injury that
affect the nerves and pulp in
teeth
and the supportive tissues in the
gum.
Common
endodontic procedures are
root-canal treatment
and
pulpotomy.
endogenous
A term that refers to a disease or disor-
der that arises w ithin the body. For
example, an endogenous infection may
occur if bacteria from the anus invade
the urinary tract. Most disorders are
exogenous
(caused by external factors).
endogenous depression
A term formerly used for a type of
depression
(feelings of sadness, hope-
lessness, and a lack of interest in life)
originating from biological factors in an
individual. In contrast, “reactive depres-
sion” was seen to result from a stressful
or emotional event or period of life. In
many cases, however, depression is a
combination of both of these types.
endolymph
The fluid contained w ithin the mem-
branous
labyrinth
(the structures in the
inner
ear
that help to control
balance
).
Endolymph flows around the labyrinth
as the body moves, causing nerve recep-
tors in the labyrinth to send signals to
the brain about the motion of the body.
A significant increase in the volume of
endolymph in the labyrinth may occur
in
Meniere's disease
.
endometrial ablation
A treatment for persistent
menorrhagia
(heavy menstrual bleeding) involving
removal of the
endometrium
(the inner
lining of the uterus). In this procedure,
endoscopy
is used to view the interior of
the uterus, while the endometrium is
removed by
diathermy
(heat treatment),
laser,
or a microwave probe (MEA).
Endometrial ablation can only be car-
ried out if the woman has no desire to
become pregnant in the future.
endometrial biopsy
A procedure in w hich a small sample of
tissue is taken from the
endometrium
(the inner lining of the uterus) and sent
for microscopic analysis. Endometrial
biopsies are used to detect areas of
abnormal tissue such as tumours (see
uterus, cancer of
) .
Samples may be taken
during
hysteroscopy (examination of
the interior of the uterus with a view-
ing instrument)
or collected using a
small vacuum device that is introduced
through
the
cervix.
M ild
cramping
pains may be a side effect.
endometrial cancer
See
uterus, cancer of
.
endometriosis
A condition in w hich fragments of the
endometrium
(the lining of the inside of
the uterus) are found in other parts
of the body, usually in the pelvic cavity.
Endometriosis can cause
infertility
in up
to two in five affected women.
INCIDENCE AND
CAUSES
Endometriosis most commonly occurs
in women w ho are aged between 25
and 40. The cause of the disorder is not
clear. In some cases, it is thought to be
due to the failure of certain fragments
of the endometrium, shed during
men-
struation
,
to leave the body. Instead, they
travel up the fallopian tubes and into
the pelvic cavity, where they can adhere
to and grow on any pelvic organ. These
displaced patches of endometrium con-
tinue to respond to hormones that are
produced in the menstrual cycle and
bleed each month.
SYMPTOMS
The symptoms of endometriosis vary
greatly. Some women have no symp-
toms, but the disorder most commonly
causes abnormal or
heavy menstrual
bleeding. There may be severe abdomi-
nal pain and/or lower back pain during
menstruation. Other possible symptoms
include dyspareunia (see
intercourse, pain-
ful
) ,
diarrhoea, constipation, and pain
during defaecation.
The internal bleeding causes pain and
is followed by healing, w hich produces
internal scarring. Bleeding into an ovary
may result in a blood-filled ovarian cyst
E
SITES OF ENDOMETRIOSIS
Fragments of the
endometrium
may travel from the uterus into the pelvic cavity via
the fallopian tubes. They then implant on parts of the pelvic organs (such as the
ovaries, vagina, cervix, bladder, and rectum) or on the peritoneum. The patches of
endometrium continue to respond to the menstrual cycle and bleed every month.
This causes the formation of painful cysts, which can be very small or may be as
large as a grapefruit.
E n d o m e t r ia l
c y s t
Peritoneal endometriosis
In this endoscopicview ofthe pelvic cavity,
a fragment of endometrium has attached
itselfto the peritoneum (the membrane that
lines the inside ofthe pelvic cavity) and a
cyst has formed.
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