Endometriosis and Endometriosis Syndrome and Chronic Pain

About 35% of hysterectomies per year are done for chronic pain, about 20% are done for endometriosis, which is the most common cause of chronic pain. Curing endometriosis has the ability to significantly improve the life of women and reduce the numbers of hysterectomies. Women who have endometriosis have much worse pain reactions in general. For instance if you have endometriosis you are more likely to experience pain from kidney and bladder stones than other women, although we do not think endometriosis causes kidney stones. The definition of endometriosis has been fairly straight forward: the presence of endometrial glands and endometrial lining tissue (or the stroma, what the glands grow in) outside the uterine lining where it naturally occurs.We also now know that there is a disruption of pain signals that can cause this But the definition has become more complicated: maybe the person with a spot of endometriosis who has no pain doesn't even really have visible signs of endometriosis in other ways. We now properly term endometriosis: the endometriosis syndrome. The endometriosis syndrome is associated with the errant pelvic tissue implants in the pelvis, but also with pain, various somatic symptoms, and infertility. Endometriosis syndrome pain can be menstrual cramps, it can be bloating, it can be painful intercourse. The endometriosis syndrome likely begins with the very first menstrual period, and it is characterized by progression and recurrences. Those who are born with abnormalities of the uterus and those who grow uterine abnormalities are more prone to developing the endometriosis syndrome. So women with bicornuate uteri or uterine fibroids are more likely to have the endometriosis syndrome. Since the syndrome is associated with immune problems that either caused it or worsened the syndrome other medical complaints are associated with the endometriosis syndrome. These complaints range from the chronic pain we have mentioned to headaches, to chronic fatigue, joint problems, and allergies. Newer studies have linked the endometriosis syndrome to eczema, vaginal yeast infections and under active thyroid gland. the newest challenge is to link the diagnosis of the endometriosis syndrome to the appropriate symptoms and to decide how the surgical diagnosis of endometriosis is most appropriately applied to cases that otherwise are clearly a diagnosis of endometriosis syndrome.


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