Topics: Menstrual cycle, Endometriosis, Endometrium Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: March 28, 2011
Reproductive Disorder
Samantha Cox
M & W 8-10:50 AM

Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that affects at least 6.3 million women and girls in the U.S. It occurs when tissue that lines the uterus is found outside the uterus, usually in the abdomen on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments that support the uterus. The cells of endometriosis attach themselves to tissue outside the uterus and are called endometriosis implants. In endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would; it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each cycle. And because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing sace tissue and adhesions.

The cause of endometriosis is unknown. One theory is that the endometrial tissue is deposited in unusual locations by the backing up of menstrual flow into the fallopian tubes and the pelvic and abdominal cavity during menstruation; also called retrograde menstruation. Another possibility is that areas lining the pelvic organs possess primitive cells that are able to grow into other forms of tissue, such as endometrial cells. Another cause of endometriosis might be the direct transfer of endometrial tissues during surgery and may even be seen in surgical scars. Transfer of endometrial cells via the bloodstream or lymphatic system is the most likely explanation for the rare cases of endometriosis that has develop in the brain and other organs distant form the pelvis. Research by the Endometriosis Association revealed a startling link between dioxin exposure and the development of endometriosis. Endometriosis affects women in their reproductive years. The exact prevalence of endometriosis is not known, since many women may have the condition and have no symptoms at all. While most cases of endometriosis are diagnosed in women aged around 25-35 years old, endometriosis has been reported in girls as...
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