A: Endometrium is the medical term for the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus, the tissue that in normally cycling women builds up and breaks down every month to produce the menstrual period. Endometriosis is a disease of the female pelvic organs, the word endometriosis being derived from the word endometrium. In the disease state endometriosis, normal endometrium lining tissue is found in abnormal anatomic locations. The cause of endometriosis has not been clearly identified. However, it is thought by many experts that reverse menstruation, the passage of menstrual blood backwards through the fallopian tubes into the pelvic cavity, plays a significant role. Many studies have shown that women with endometriosis have accentuated inflammation in the pelvic and lower abdominal areas. Chronic inflammation can probably cause pain and infertility. Treatment options for endometriosis include surgical removal, hormonal medications that suppress endometriosis growth, medications with intrauterine insemination, and in vitro fertilization.
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