The results of genetic analyses of women with endometriosis may one day lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating the painful menstrual disorder, new research suggests. What's more, the researchers may have also pinpointed a reason why infertility is often an unfortunate consequence of the condition.
Anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of women have endometriosis, a condition that occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus, the endometrium, exists outside the uterus -- often in the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Dr. Linda Giudice of Stanford University in California discovered that women with endometriosis tend to show defects in genes related to embryo attachment to the uterus, a necessary step in pregnancy.If women with endometriosis do have certain genetic markers, then a painless scan of a tissue or blood sample could provide an easier diagnosis, DePaolo predicted.
Furthermore, if certain genes -- and the proteins they encode -- are altered in women with endometriosis, future remedies could help correct the disorder by targeting those particular abnormalities, DePaolo added.