ID: 117
Category: Reproductive Condition
CreatedBy: 1
UpdatedBy: 1
createdon: 27 Jan 2023
updatedon: 20 Jun 2023

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Author: Khoa Tran
Published Jan 27, 2023
Updated Jun 20, 2023

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Etymology and Pronunciation

Endometriosis (en-doh-mee-tree-OH-sis)
endo - Greek for "inside"
metr-  (mḗtrā / μήτρᾱ) - Greek for "uterus". Reference to conditions or instruments of the uterus.
osis - Greek for "a condition of"

History of Endometriosis

The first recorded description of endometriosis in modern medicine was in the early 19th century by a Scottish physician named Dr. Robert Brown. However, it wasn't until the early 20th century that the condition began to be studied in greater detail.

In 1921, a German gynecologist named Dr. John Sampson proposed the theory of retrograde menstruation, which suggested that menstrual blood flows backward through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis, where it can implant and grow outside of the uterus. This theory remains the most widely accepted explanation for the development of endometriosis.

Over the years, medical researchers have continued to study endometriosis and have made significant progress in understanding its causes and developing effective treatments. In the 1950s and 1960s, researchers began to use laparoscopic surgery to diagnose and treat endometriosis, and in the 1970s, the first medical treatments for the condition were introduced, including hormonal therapies and medications to manage pain.

Modern Understanding of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus (called the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. This tissue can grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other organs in the abdominal cavity. Adhesions and scar tissue can form in the pelvis, causing pain and discomfort. Heavy bleeding, irregular periods, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating may also be symptoms of endometriosis.

The main symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, which can be severe and debilitating. Other symptoms include heavy or irregular periods, pain during or after intercourse, and infertility. The severity of symptoms does not always correlate with the extent of the endometriosis.

Diagnostics of Endometriosis is commonly done with a pelvic examination and ultrasound, while a laparoscopy can provide a definitive diagnosis.

Causes of Endometriosis

The exact cause of endometriosis is not known, but there are several theories. One theory suggests that it occurs when menstrual blood flows backward through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity, where it implants and grows. Another theory suggests that it may be caused by a problem with the immune system, which fails to recognize and destroy the endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus.

Hormones are also thought to play a role in the development of endometriosis. Specifically, the hormone estrogen is believed to stimulate the growth of the endometrial tissue, which is why the condition often affects women during their reproductive years. Other hormones, such as progesterone, may help to limit the growth of the tissue.

Genetics may also play a role in the development of endometriosis. Women with a family history of the condition are more likely to develop it themselves, suggesting that there may be a genetic component involved.

There are also certain risk factors that can increase a woman's likelihood of developing endometriosis. These include starting menstruation at an early age, having a short menstrual cycle, having a family history of the condition, and having certain health conditions, such as uterine abnormalities or pelvic infections.

Treatments for Endometriosis

Treatment options include hormone therapy, birth control pills, GnRH agonists, progestin therapy, danazol, and aromatase inhibitors. Surgery to remove the tissue such as laparotomy or hysterectomy may also be recommended. Endometrial ablation and reproductive assisted technology may also be options. Support groups can be helpful for individuals with endometriosis, as well. In severe cases, a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be recommended.

In some cases, reproductive assisted technology may also be used to help women with endometriosis conceive.

Support groups can also be a valuable resource for women with endometriosis, providing a community of individuals who understand what they are going through and can offer support and advice. If you think you may have endometriosis, it is important to speak with a doctor, who can help you find the best treatment for your individual situation.


Pelvic pain
Menstrual cramps
Heavy or irregular periods
Painful intercourse (sex)

Confirmation Tests

- Surgery - laparoscopy

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