Reproductive Case Study 6:


 A 26-year-old female complained of severe, dull, aching pain, and cramping in the lower abdomen. There were no other physical findings. A laparoscopy revealed the presence of ectopic endometrial tissue on the uterine wall and ovaries. Danazol (a synthetic androgen and inhibitor of gonadotropins), 600 mg/day, was prescribed for up to nine months to inhibit ovulation, suppress the growth of the abnormal endometrial tissue, and achieve appreciable symptomatic relief, with a 30% possibility of conception after withdrawal of the therapy.


1.) Compare the hormonal controls of the male reproductive cycle with the hormonal controls of the female reproductive cycle.  How are they the same?  How are they different?


2.) What is this condition called?


3.) What causes it?


4.) What is ectopic endometrial tissue?


5.) What is the rationale for using danazol, a gonadotropin inhibitor?


6.) Why do you think oral contraceptives could also be used as a treatment?


7.) Is surgical treatment an option, why?  why not?


*adapted from “Case Histories in Human Physiology”, 3/e, by Donna Van Wynsberghe, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, copyright 1998, McGraw-Hill Publishing.