Definition:   Endometriosis is a gynecological condition in which normal uterine cavity lining called endometrium is implanted in and around the female reproductive tract.

Epidemiology: Endometriosis is a hormone specific disease and is commonly seen in the reproductive age group. Incidence is unknown because disease diagnosis is based on biopsy or laparoscopic visualization of endometrial implants. Reports show the rate as high as 20%-50% in female partner of infertile couples. The incidence increases with age from 12% in girls aged 11-13 yrs to 45% in females aged 20-21 yrs. There are increasing reports of Endometriosis in females after menarche. In menopause the disease process halts.  

Etiology and Pathophysiology is poorly understood. Retrograde menstruation, genetics,  immunological dysfunction are few leading theories which attempt to explain the cause of endometriosis although none of these theories have been proven.

 The common sites in which endometriosis is seen are –

  • Ovaries
  • Posterior cul-de-sac
  • Uterosacral ligament
  • Broad ligament
  • Rectosigmoid colon
  • Bladder
  • Ureter

Symptoms and Signs:

Clinical presentation depends on the site of the disease. Endometriosis is commonly seen in the ovary as chocolate cyst or endometriotic cyst which gives rise to severe abdominal pain. Adhesion formation around the reproductive organs distorts the anatomy and, all of these collectively are responsible for infertility in women. 30%-40% of women will be subfertile. Severe dysmenorrhoea, pelvic pain are the other common presenting complaints. Symptoms   of endometriosis do not co-relate well with disease severity.


Pelvic sonography, computed tomography (CT) scan and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) are useful imaging modalities in visualization of endometriotic cyst.

  • Transvaginal sonography is useful in identifying endometriotic cyst.
  • MRI has increased sensitivity over transvaginal sonography.
  • CT Scan is a useful tool in diagnosing complicated cases like bowel obstruction, kidney obstruction due to endometriosis
  • Intravenous pyelography and colonic studies are to be performed in case of extra-uterine endometriotic involvement.
  • CA-125 cancer antigen test has poor sensitivity index in detecting endometriosis.
  • Laparascopy is the only confirmative but invasive diagnostic tool in endometriosis.


Medical therapy  

1. Progesterone preparation gives promising results in treating endometriosis.

2 .Pain relief due to the disease is best achieved with the use of anti inflammatory drugs.

There can be good disease control and pain relief with medical line of management.

Surgical management

1. Conservative surgery is performed in cases of infertility, adolescent age group and where reproductive function is desired.

2 .Radical surgery is performed in extensive and deep endometriosis.

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