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Endometriosis and bowel disease

Women with endometriosis are more vulnerable to irritable bowel syndrome and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Endometriosis and bowel disease

Women with endometriosis are more likely to be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and pelvic inflammatory disease. Endometriosis is a painful condition that affects women during their reproductive years and is caused by the growth of the tissue lining the uterus in other parts of the abdomen outside of the uterus, such as the ovaries. To investigate the association between the occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women with endometriosis, researchers from Britain identified 5,540 women aged 15 to 55 years who were diagnosed with endometriosis. They matched these patients to 21,239 women without endometriosis. It was found that women with endometriosis were at a significantly greater risk of having pelvic inflammatory disease before and after the date on, which endometriosis was diagnosed. Similarly, a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome was more likely before and after a diagnosis of endometriosis than among controls. The researchers suggest that there is potential for diagnostic confusion in women with endometriosis as nearly 10% had been treated for IBS during the period before diagnosis and more than 8% had been treated for PID. There are, however, some women with endometriosis in whom these conditions coexist and such patients require rigorous and appropriate treatment. The study also emphasizes the need for a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis as misdiagnosis leads to diagnostic delay and an increased expenditure through inappropriate treatment.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
October 2008
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