Study Links Endometriosis With Other Diseases
Research Confirms 10-Year Delay Between Onset Of Pain, Diagnosis
POSTED: 10:31 a.m. EDT September 27, 2002
LONDON — Women with endometriosis are much more likely to also have other medical conditions, according to a new study.
The findings document something that many women with the painful condition already know.
The study was conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Md., the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the Endometriosis Association in Milwaukee. Their findings are published in Friday’s issue of the journal Human Reproduction.
Researchers found that endometriosis was linked to other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and allergies.
They found that 20 percent of the 3,680 endometriosis sufferers they studied had more than one other disease.
The study also confirmed that there is typically a 10-year delay between the onset of symptoms of endometriosis and the diagnosis of the disease. The researchers urge doctors to consider a diagnosis of endometriosis in girls and women complaining of pelvic pain and to watch out for other potentially serious conditions in these patients.
Endometriosis is a leading cause of infertility. It occurs when tissue from the uterine lining grows elsewhere in the body, attaching itself to organs and frequently causing pain, inflammation, bleeding and reproductive problems. It affects an estimated 8 to 10 percent of women of reproductive age. Its cause, and the causes of the other conditions, are not known.
Copyright 2002 by WNBC.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Menstrual Problem Going Unnoticed In Teens
Left Untreated, Endometriosis Can Cause Infertility
UPDATED: 11:53 a.m. EDT September 10, 2002
Endometriosis is a mysterious disease causing pain and infertility in thousands of women.
Doctors are learning more about the disease and now they’re paying closer attention to teens.
When she was 13, Katie Barton began having severe pain with some of her periods — pain that wouldn’t go away with over-the-counter medication.
“I would be doubled over and not be able to function. I would either have to leave school or take the day off,” she said.
Doctors thought Barton had digestive problems but couldn’t explain what was wrong.
But years later, she did get some answers. She has endometriosis, where menstrual tissue develops outside the uterus, often in the abdominal cavity. It’s what caused her pain since she was a teen.
Barton’s not alone. According to Dr. Fermin Barrueto, a gynecologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, teens with unexplained menstrual pain were often ignored, but a recent study discovered teens are especially vulnerable to the disease.
“They found out that in patients below age 22, the recurrence rate was twice as much as patients over 22,” he said.
Early diagnosis is important. Barton needed surgery to remove her endometriosis and Lupron, a medication to keep it under control.
“Finally I know what’s wrong with me and what can be done,” she said.
Endometriosis affects an estimated 10 million American women, and since it often results in infertility, early detection is important, according to research.
Copyright 2002 by WNBC.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be
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