In a recent issue of NIH News in Health, two NICHD scientists explained the challenges of understanding and preventing endometriosis, a condition causing pain and infertility in many women.
The condition results when cells from the endometrium—the lining of the uterus—attach to tissues and organs outside the uterus. These cells may migrate to the ovaries, bladder and other organs, where they may cause scarring and pain.
The article, “Strange Migrations and Killer Cramps,” quoted Pamela Straton, M.D., Chief of NICHD’s Gynecology Consult Service, and Esther Eisenberg, M.D., a Medical Officer in the Reproductive Sciences Branch.
“Endometriosis is an incredibly complex disease. Its causes have been kind of a mystery, and we’re not sure how to prevent it,” said Dr. Stratton.
Added Dr. Eisenberg: “There’s a lot of active research into the basic biological mechanisms of endometriosis. There’s so much we don’t yet know. Once we understand the mechanisms, we’ll have tools to help women deal with this serious problem.”
About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s Web site at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/.