Relevance of gastrointestinal symptoms in endometriosis – Source: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aug 2009

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Background: Endometriosis commonly presents with a range of symptoms none of which are particularly specific for the condition, often resulting in misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis.

Aim: To investigate gastrointestinal symptoms in women with endometriosis and compare their frequency with that of the classical gynecological symptoms.

Methods: Systematic exploration of symptoms in a consecutive series of 355 women undergoing operative laparoscopy for suspected endometriosis.

Results:
• Endometriosis was confirmed by histology in 290 women (84.5%).
• Bowel lesions were present in only 7.6%.
• 90% of women had gastrointestinal symptoms, of which bloating was the most common (82.8%), but 71.3% also had other bowel symptoms.
• All gastrointestinal symptoms were similarly predictive of histologically confirmed endometriosis.
• Seventy-six women (21.4%) had previously been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and 79% of them had endometriosis confirmed.

Conclusion:
• Gastrointestinal symptoms are nearly as common as gynecological symptoms in women with endometriosis
• And do not necessarily reflect bowel involvement.

Source: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aug 2009;49(4), pp 411-414. PMID: 19694698, by Maroun P, Cooper MJ, Reid GD, Keirse MJ. Department of Endogynecology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia. [E-mail: paulette@paulettemaroun.com.aum]

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