Endometriosis is a sometimes-painful gynecological disorder that affects roughly six to ten percent of women, according to some recent studies. This condition occurs when cells of the endometrium—the tissue that normally lines the uterus—get deposited into the pelvic cavity. These displaced cells attach themselves to other tissues and continue to grow and act like normal endometrial cells—they thicken, break down, and bleed with the menstrual cycle.
Rarely, endometriosis can spread beyond the pelvic region, into the chest (thoracic) cavity for example. Most commonly, however, endometriosis is found in and on the ovaries, bowels, or the tissue lining the pelvis.
Common symptoms of endometriosis include pelvic pain and unusually painful menstrual cycles. Pelvic pain can sometimes be hard to distinguish from other conditions that affect the pelvic region. However, the severe menstrual pain associated with endometriosis is above and beyond that of occasional cramping. It is often distinguishable by the fact that the pain may get worse over time. Other symptoms include pain during or after intercourse, pain with bowel movements or urination, excessive bleeding during your period (menorrhagia), and bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia). A diagnosis of Endometriosis is confirmed by laparoscopic surgery.
There are currently two studies taking place here in Utah. The first is a Phase III study evaluating the efficacy of an investigational GnRh antagonist (non-hormone) medication. The study may last up to 18 months and includes compensation for travel and participant time.
The second research study being conducted is a Phase II, randomized, double blind study evaluating the effectiveness and safety of an oral drug for premenopausal women with confirmed symptomatic endometriosis.
The exact cause of endometriosis is still unknown. If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis, you may qualify to participate in one of these clinical trials. Please consider joining a clinical trial or research study to learn more about your condition and to help advance the medical understanding of the condition.