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
diarrhoea, constipation, and pain dur-
ing defaecation; in rare cases, there is
bleeding from the rectum. Sometimes,
endometriosis causes no symptoms.
confirms the diagnosis.
analogues, or the
be given to prevent menstruation. In
some cases, local ablation of the en-
dometrial deposit, using either
during laparoscopy, may
be needed. If the woman is not infertile,
pregnancy often results in significant
improvement of the condition. A
may be suggested if the
woman does not want children.
Inflammation of the
that results from infection.
Endometritis is a feature of
It may also be a
occur after insertion of an
, or be
the result of a
sexually transmitted infec-
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
The lining of the inside
. The endometrium con-
tains numerous glands and gradually
increases in thickness during the men-
strual cycle (see
occurs. The surface layers are
shed during menstruation if
does not take place.
A group of
cules produced in the body that relieve
pain by activating
the nervous system. Endorphins have a
similar chemical structure to the pain-
. 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
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
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.
Examination of a body cavi-
ty for diagnosis or treatment by means
. Endoscopy makes use
and video technolo-
gy, and enables almost any hollow