Endometriosis can be a painful, recurring problem. Even with today’s medical breakthroughs, McLeod
Gynecologists Marla Hardenbergh and Brad Campbell say many elements of endometriosis remain a mystery:
Here are highlights of their comments:
- We’re not really sure what the exact process is behind endometriosis. It seems to run in families, but I can’t really explain to you exactly what happens. I can tell you that it occurs in this lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. These are specific cells and glands responding to hormones coming from the ovary.
- It grows in the first part of your menstrual cycle. In the second half of your menstrual cycle it makes a hormone called progesterone and then it cuts off all of a sudden at the end. And the lining is supposed to shed off.
- When these cells are other places in your body besides inside your uterus, we call that endometriosis. The most common place to see it is here in the pelvis, because the fallopian tubes are open and things can enter them.
- Is it because some of your menstrual flow goes backward into your belly, because it does? Do they spread there through the blood vessels and the lymphatic system? We’re not sure about these as causes of endometriosis.
- I’ve seen endometriosis in peoples’ lungs and brains, and I’ve cut it out of C-section scars.
- Is there a genetic component to endometriosis? If you have it, will your daughters and granddaughters have it? Well, there’s no gene that we are aware of that we can use to trace the likelihood from generation to generation.
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