Special Reviews

The Pains of Endometriosis

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Science  10 Jun 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5728, pp. 1587-1589
DOI: 10.1126/science.1111445

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Endometriosis is a disease defined by the presence of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Severe pelvic pain is often associated with endometriosis, and this pain can be diminished with therapies that suppress estrogen production. Many women with endometriosis also suffer from other chronic pain conditions. Recent studies suggest that mechanisms underlying these pains and sensitivity to estrogen involve the growth into the ectopic endometrial tissue of a nerve supply, which could have a varied and widespread influence on the activity of neurons throughout the central nervous system.

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