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Silver Nitrate for Endometriosis
May 2003

Q. My doctor recently found some endometriosis on my cervix. She plans on treating it with silver nitrate. I have never heard of this condition being treated with silver nitrate. I thought that medicine and/or surgery was what was used to treat the problem. I wish to have more children, so having this treated properly is very important to me. Should I be concerned and insist upon different treatment?

A. The endometrium is the lining of the uterus, which thickens in the early part of the female menstrualcycle in preparation for pregnancy if it occurs. If no pregnancy results that month, the endometrial lining sheds, causing the blood loss of the menses.

Endometriosis occurs when some of the endometrial tissue gets outside the uterus and implants in the pelvic area. The cause of this is unknown. The tissue still responds to hormonal changes and causes swelling and internal bleeding. One approach is to remove the tissue surgically, usually via laparoscopy, and this can be quite successful.

So it is not so clear that the cells found on the cervix are endometrial in nature. Perhaps the endometrial cells were found on the Pap smear as a result of shedding from the uterus. An inspection of the cervix can be done under magnification, and a biopsy taken to clarify any areas that look abnormal. Ask your doctor for clarification as to the condition and proposed treatment.



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