Relation between pain symptoms and the anatomic location of deep infiltrating endometriosis

Fertil Steril. 2002 Oct;78(4):719-26. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(02)03331-9.


Objective: To investigate whether specific types of pelvic pain are correlated with the anatomic locations of deeply infiltrating endometriosis (DIE).

Design: Retrospective data analysis.

Setting: University tertiary referral center.

Patient(s): Two hundred and twenty-five women with pelvic pain symptoms and DIE.

Intervention(s): During surgery, we recorded the anatomic locations of DIE implants and associated endometriosis.

Main outcome measure(s): We studied the incidence of pelvic pain symptoms including severe dysmenorrhea, deep dyspareunia, noncyclic chronic pelvic pain, painful defecation during menstruation, urinary tract symptoms, and gastrointestinal symptoms as related to the location of DIE.

Result(s): The frequency of severe dysmenorrhea increased with Douglas pouch adhesions and decreased with parity. The frequency of dyspareunia increased with a uterosacral ligament DIE location and decreased when it involved the bladder. The frequency of noncyclic chronic pelvic pain was higher when it involved the bowel and was lower for women who were treated for infertility. The frequency of painful defecation during menstruation was higher when DIE involved the vagina; lower urinary tract symptoms were more frequent when DIE involved the bladder and less frequent in women with a lower body mass index. Gastrointestinal symptoms were associated with bowel or vaginal DIE locations.

Conclusion(s): The types of pelvic pain are related to the anatomic location of DIE. Knowledge of the characteristics of pelvic pain symptoms is important in the preoperative assessment of patients with suspected DIE.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Defecation
  • Digestive System / pathology
  • Dysmenorrhea / epidemiology
  • Dyspareunia / epidemiology
  • Endometriosis / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Menstruation
  • Pelvic Pain*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urinary Bladder / pathology
  • Urinary Tract / pathology
  • Uterus / pathology
  • Vagina / pathology