When the lining of the womb grows into the Fallopian tubes, this can be a cause of scarring of the tubes and lead to infertility of the woman.
Up to this point in time medical science had no explanation for cases where the surgeon found only a few spots of endometriosis on the surface of the womb inside the abdominal cavity without any disease in the fallopian tubes. Dr.Ovrang Djahanbakhch and his coworkers from the The Royal London Hospital in London found that there is a factor contained in the abdominal fluid of women who have endometriosis (article published in the Lancet 2002;360:p.1221-1222). These investigators looked at fallopian tubes of hysterectomy samples (=wombs that were surgically removed) and studied the movement of the cells lining them under a special microscope.
Hair cells can be seen that are lining the Fallopian tubes and are normally responsible for the transport of the released egg at the time of ovulation. They found that when they added abdominal fluids from women who have endometriosis, the wave like pattern of these hair cells (=known as “ciliary movement”) came to almost a standstill. Abdominal fluids of women with no sign of endometriosis did not cause such a slowdown. This finding sheds important new information on our understanding of the nature of endometriosis and may some day lead to the development of new fertility drugs.
At this point the chemical factor from patients with endometriosis that is responsible for the slow-down of the normal ciliary movement has not yet been isolated. The authors will pursue this line of research further. Here are some links that are related to this topic:
Last edited December 10, 2012