ENDOMETRITIS
ENDOSCOPY
causes the formation of cysts, which
may be painful and can grow to a size as
large as a grapefruit.
The symptoms of endometriosis vary
greatly, with abnormal or heavy men-
strual bleeding being most common.
There may be severe abdominal pain
and/or lower back pain during menstru-
ation. Other possible symptoms include
dyspareunia (see
intercourse, painful)
,
diarrhoea, constipation, and pain dur-
ing defaecation; in rare cases, there is
bleeding from the rectum. Sometimes,
endometriosis causes no symptoms.
Laparoscopy
confirms the diagnosis.
Drugs (including
danazol
,
progestogen
drugs
,
gonadorelin
analogues, or the
combined
oral contraceptive
pill) may
be given to prevent menstruation. In
some cases, local ablation of the en-
dometrial deposit, using either
laser
or
electrocautery
during laparoscopy, may
be needed. If the woman is not infertile,
pregnancy often results in significant
improvement of the condition. A
hys-
terectomy
may be suggested if the
woman does not want children.
endometritis
Inflammation of the
en-
dometrium
that results from infection.
Endometritis is a feature of
pelvic
inflammatorydisease
.
It may also be a
complication of
abortion
or childbirth,
occur after insertion of an
IUD
, or be
the result of a
sexually transmitted infec-
tion
.
Symptoms include fever, vaginal
discharge, and lower abdominal pain.
Treatment includes removing any for-
eign body (such as an IUD or retained
placental tissue) and
antibiotic drugs
.
endometrium
The lining of the inside
of the
uterus
. The endometrium con-
tains numerous glands and gradually
increases in thickness during the men-
strual cycle (see
menstruation
) until
ovulation
occurs. The surface layers are
shed during menstruation if
conception
does not take place.
endorphins
A group of
protein
mole-
cules produced in the body that relieve
pain by activating
opiate
receptors in
the nervous system. Endorphins have a
similar chemical structure to the pain-
relieving drug
morphine
. In addition,
endorphins are thought to be involved
in the body's response to stress, as well
as in regulating intestinal contractions,
determining mood, and controlling the
release of certain hormones from the
pituitary gland.
(See also
enkephalins.)
endoscope
A tube-like viewing instru-
ment that is inserted into a body cavity
to investigate or treat disorders. Endo-
scopes can be either flexible or rigid,
depending on the part of the body to be
examined. A flexible
fibre-optic
endo-
scope is a bundle of light-transmitting
fibres. At the head, it has an eyepiece,
steering device, and power source; at
the tip, there is a light, a lens, an outlet
for air or water, and sometimes a cam-
era that transmits a picture to a screen.
Side channels enable various surgical
instruments to be passed down the
endoscope. A rigid endoscope is a
straight tube with a light attached.
instruments
FLEXIBLE ENDOSCOPE
endoscopy
Examination of a body cavi-
ty for diagnosis or treatment by means
of an
endoscope
. Endoscopy makes use
of both
fibre-optics
and video technolo-
gy, and enables almost any hollow
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