Endometriosis and its coexistence with irritable bowel syndrome and pelvic inflammatory disease: findings from a national case-control study--Part 2

BJOG. 2008 Oct;115(11):1392-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01879.x. Epub 2008 Aug 19.


Objective: To investigate whether the increased chances of having a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women with endometriosis is due to misdiagnosis or co-morbidity.

Design: A case-control study of women aged 15-55 years with endometriosis and matched controls.

Setting: Data from the UK's General Practice Research Database for the years 1992-2001.

Sample: A total of 5540 women aged 15-55 years, diagnosed with endometriosis, each matched to four controls without endometriosis. The index date was defined as the date of diagnosis.

Methods: Data were analysed to determine whether women with endometriosis were more likely to receive a diagnosis of PIDor IBS than women without endometriosis. Odds ratios were calculated for endometriosis associated with IBS and PID before and after the index date.

Main outcome measures: Diagnosis of IBS or PID before and after the index date.

Results: Compared with the controls, women with endometriosis were 3.5 times more likely to have received a diagnosis of IBS (OR 3.5 [95% CI: 3.1-3.9]). Even after women had been diagnosed with endometriosis, they were still two and a half times more likely to receive a new diagnosis of IBS when compared with the controls (OR 2.5 [95% CI: 2.2-2.8]). Similarly, women with endometriosis were more likely than those without endometriosis to have been treated for PID both before (OR 5.9 [95% CI: 5.1-6.9]) and after (OR 3.8 [95% CI: 3.1-4.6]) being diagnosed with endometriosis.

Conclusions: Women with endometriosis are more likely to be diagnosed with IBS and PID than controls, even after a definitive diagnosis of endometriosis has been reached.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Endometriosis / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / complications*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult