Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis (from endo, "inside", and metra, "womb") is a common medical condition characterized by growth beyond or outside the uterus of tissue resembling endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the uterus.

Endometriosis occurs in roughly 5% to 10% of women. And can also occur in postmenopausal women, with an estimated 2% to 4% of all endometriosis cases being diagnosed in the postmenopausal phase of a woman's life. Endometriosis most commonly exists in the lower region of the female pelvis. The most common site of disease is the ovary (which I had). The broad ligaments (beneath the ovaries), uterosacral ligaments (supporting structures of the cervix containing sensory nerves from the uterus - which I had) and pouch of Douglas (peritoneum between the rectum and the cervix - which I had) are the most frequently involved areas and can produce intense to no pain felt in the pelvis, low back, and during premenstrual period. Less commonly lesions can be found on the bladder (which I had), intestines, ureters, and diaphragm. Bowel endometriosis affects approximately 10% of women with endometriosis, and can cause severe pain with bowel movements.

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