Endometriosis: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Clinical Management

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Endometriosis is a disease of adolescents and reproductive-aged women characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity and commonly associated with chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Here we review the epidemiology of endometriosis as well as potential biomarkers for detection and with the goal of highlighting risk factors that could be used in combination with biomarkers to identify and treat women with endometriosis earlier.

Recent Findings

Early age at menarche, shorter menstrual length, and taller height are associated with a higher risk of endometriosis while parity, higher body mass index (BMI), and smoking are associated with decreased risk. Endometriosis often presents as infertility or continued pelvic pain despite treatment with analgesics and cyclic oral contraceptive pills.

Summary

Despite a range of symptoms, diagnosis of endometriosis is often delayed due to lack of non-invasive, definitive, and consistent biomarkers for the diagnosis of endometriosis. Hormone therapy and analgesics are used for treatment of symptomatic endometriosis. However, the efficacy of these treatments is limited as endometriosis often recurs. In this review, we describe potential diagnostic biomarkers and risk factors that may be used as early non-invasive in vitro tools for identification of endometriosis to minimize diagnostic delay and improve reproductive health of patients.

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Correspondence to Kathryn L. Terry.

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Parveen Parasar, Pinar Ozcan, and Kathryn L. Terry declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI)

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Parasar, P., Ozcan, P. & Terry, K.L. Endometriosis: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Clinical Management. Curr Obstet Gynecol Rep 6, 34–41 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13669-017-0187-1

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Keywords

  • Endometriosis
  • Pain
  • Infertility
  • Biomarkers
  • Management