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Endometrium is the tissue that lines the inside of the womb (uterus). During the menstrual cycle it increases in thickness in preparation for pregnancy and if that does not occur it is shed off. The bleeding that occurs during the shedding off is what is called as the menses.
Why does it occur? The cause is unknown but several theories have been put forward. The most widely accepted theory is ‘retrograde menstruation'. According to this theory, during menses some of the menstrual blood flows backwards into the pelvis through the fallopian tubes. This menstrual fluid has some endometrial cells which implant on the reproductive organs or other areas in the pelvis. These implanted cells cause endometriosis.
The most common symptoms of endometriosis include:
Ultrasound scans, blood tests and internal examinations cannot conclusively diagnose endometriosis. The only way to diagnose endometriosis is by laparoscopy. This is an operation in which a telescope (a laparoscope) is inserted into the abdomen through a small cut in the belly button. This allows the surgeon to see the pelvic organs and identify any endometriotic deposits and cysts.
Unfortunately, there is as yet a cure for the condition. However certain medical therapies or surgery can help. The type of treatment used depends on the age of the patient, her desire for future childbearing and the severity of her symptoms.
eg. Danazol, Gestrinone. The side effects include acne, change in the voice, increased hair over the body.