Ablation of Endometriosis: A surgical technique which burns the surface of endometriotic lesions. Inferior to excision techniques.
Adenomyosis (add-en-o-my-oh-sis): The presence of endometrial-like glands and stroma found within the myometrium, or muscle of the uterine wall. Adenomyosis used to be referred to as “endometriosis interna”.
Adhesions: Scarring that binds together the surfaces of tissues; the body’s response to injury; a natural part of the healing process.
Biopsy: A minor surgical procedure to remove a small piece of tissue that is then examined under a microscope in a laboratory.
Bladder: A muscular organ in which urine is stored.
Cervix: The opening of the uterus at the top of the vagina.
Cyst: A sac or pouch filled with fluid.
Endometrial Ablation: A surgical procedure in which the lining of the uterus is destroyed to stop or reduce menstrual bleeding. A uterus may no longer be able to support pregnancy after this procedure.
Endometrial Biopsy: A test in which a small amount of the tissue lining the uterus is removed and examined under a microscope.
Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a complex disease in which cells similar to the lining of the uterus—but distinctly different—are found elsewhere in the body, causing pain, inflammation, and organ dysfunction. It may be found on pelvic/abdominal structures such as the bowel, bladder, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and rectovaginal space, or in remote locations outside of the pelvis.
Endometrium: The lining of the uterus.
Estrogen: A hormone responsible for the development of female secondary sexual characteristics; primarily—but not exclusively—produced in the ovaries.
Excise: To cut out surgically, to remove by cutting.
Fallopian Tubes: Tubes through which an egg travels from the ovary to the uterus.
Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonists (GnRH): Medical therapy used to block the effects of certain hormones, such as estrogen. These drugs may cause severe side effects. Lupron is an example.
Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Antagonists: Medical therapy used to decrease the production of certain hormones, such as estrogen. Antagonists have a much faster onset of action than agonists. These drugs may cause severe side effects. Orilissa is an example.
Hormone: A substance produced by the body to control the functions of various organs.
Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus.
Hysteroscopy: A procedure in which a slender, light-transmitting device, the hysteroscope, is inserted into the uterus through the cervix to view the inside of the uterus or perform surgery.
Infertility: A condition in which a couple has been unable to get pregnant after 1 year without the use of any form of birth control.
Inflammation: Pain, swelling, redness, and irritation of tissues in the body.
Interstitial Cystitis: A chronic inflammation of the urinary bladder wall.
Laparoscopic Excision of Endometriosis: The surgical cornerstone of correctly treating endometriosis. Excision allows the disease to be meticulously cut out from all areas without removing otherwise healthy organs. Excision is a superior technique compared to ablation and is the gold standard of care for endometriosis.
Laparoscopy: A surgical procedure in which an instrument called a laparoscope is inserted into the pelvic cavity through small incisions. The laparoscope is used to view the pelvic organs. Other instruments can be used with it to perform surgery.
Laparotomy: A surgical procedure in which a large incision is made into the abdomen. (AKA open surgery)
Menstruation: The monthly discharge of blood and tissue from the uterus that occurs in the absence of pregnancy; also called a “period.”
Myometrium: The muscular portion of the uterine wall.
Oophorectomy: Removal of one or both of the ovaries.
Ovaries: Two glands, located on either side of the uterus, that contain the eggs necessary to get pregnant and produce important hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Ovulation: The release of an egg from one of the ovaries.
Pelvic Exam: A physical examination of a woman’s reproductive organs.
Pelvic Floor: A group of muscles at the base of the abdomen attached to the pelvis; supports the pelvic organs.
Peritoneum: The membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and surrounds the internal organs.
Presacral Neurectomy: A procedure performed via laparoscopy in which the nerves coming from the uterus, which conduct pain signals, are interrupted or cut to prevent those signals from reaching the brain. PSN may be used to manage adenomyosis-related pain.
Progesterone: A female hormone that is produced in the ovaries and that prepares the lining of the uterus for pregnancy.
Progestin: A synthetic form of progesterone that is similar to the hormone produced naturally by the body.
Rectum: The last part of the digestive tract.
Transvaginal Ultrasound: A type of ultrasound in which a transducer specially designed to be placed in the vagina is used.
Ultrasound Exam: A test in which sound waves are used to examine internal structures.
Ureters: A pair of tubes, each leading from one of the kidneys to the bladder.
Uterus: A muscular organ located in the female pelvis that contains and nourishes the developing fetus during pregnancy.