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Is there a relation between PCOS and endometriosis

Forum: Trying to Conceive With PCOS


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July 21st, 2005, 12:18 PM
sandycheeks's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,982
Endometriosis has been reported in about 30 percent of infertile women. PCOS is the most common cause of lack of ovulation and certainly a leading cause of female infertility. Statistically, it would seem that many women would have both and this is probably the case. Both of these disorders appear to have a genetic predisposition. However, whether endometriosis is more or less common in PCOS patients and PCOS in those with endometriosis is not known. Certainly, everyone that has one of these disorders does not necessarily have the other.

The leading theory on the origin of endometriosis is a back flow of blood from the uterus through the tubes and out into the pelvis (retrograde menstruation). This theory can only partly explain the origin of endometriosis because most women have this "backward flow" each month, but endometriosis is not seen universally. The second theory of endometriosis is that the cells lining the pelvis and ovaries are transformed into endometrial cells by some internal or external stimulus. Perhaps, blood and all the growth factors it contains is a good candidate. It can easily be seen how these two theories could work together.

In one way, the PCOS patient who has very infrequent bleeding should have a decreased chance of endometriosis. In another way, estrogen levels may be chronically elevated to a level lower than those near ovulation, but high enough to cause the endometrium to proliferate as it remains unopposed by progesterone. Endometriosis can be thought of as a fire. The fuel for the fire is estrogen
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