What is the morbidity associated with endometriosis?

Updated: May 10, 2021
  • Author: G Willy Davila, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Acute or chronic pelvic pain is common in patients with endometriosis. Infertility is also common. Approximately 30-40% of women with endometriosis will be subfertile.

Adolescent patients typically present with increasingly severe dysmenorrhea and/or chronic pelvic pain. Any persistent symptoms that seem cyclic in nature should prompt the practitioner to consider a search for endometriosis.

Symptoms do not correlate well with disease severity. Significant dysfunction can be present with minimal gross disease, whereas severe endometriosis is sometimes asymptomatic. The pain of endometriosis responds poorly to antiprostaglandins and OCPs. Symptoms are related to the site of endometriotic implants and the organ system involved.

Cases have been reported of extrapelvic involvement in virtually every other organ system including the central nervous system (CNS), lungs, pleura, kidney, and bladder. [8, 9] The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the most common extrapelvic site of endometriosis, and symptoms include bowel obstruction, rectal bleeding, and constipation. Symptoms in other locations are related to the site and size of endometrial implants.

Mortality is negligible.

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