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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.

Affecting an estimated 89 million women of reproductive age around the world, endometriosis occurs in roughly 5% to 10% of women.[1] Endometriosis 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 (approximately half of the cases). The broad ligaments (beneath the ovaries), uterosacral ligaments (supporting structures of the cervix containing sensory nerves from the uterus) and pouch of Douglas (peritoneum between the rectum and the cervix) are the most frequently involved areas and can produce intense to no pain[2] felt in the pelvis, low back, and during premenstrual period. Less commonly lesions can be found on the bladder, intestines, ureters, and diaphragm. Bowel endometriosis affects approximately 10% of women with endometriosis, and can cause severe pain with bowel movements. Diaphragmatic endometriosis is rare, most always on the right hemidiaphragm, and causes severe cyclic pain of the right shoulder just before and during menses. Very rarely endometriosis is found distant from pelvis, in sites such as the lung, brain, and kidney. Pleural implantations are associated with recurrent right pneumothoraces at times of menses, termed catamenial pneumothorax. Similarly, lesions in the central nervous system can cause catamenial seizures.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Endometriosis".