Pathophysiology and management of urinary tract endometriosis

Nat Rev Urol. 2017 Jun;14(6):359-372. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2017.58. Epub 2017 May 3.


Endometriosis predominantly affects the pelvic reproductive organs but can also affect the urinary tract. A number of theories for the pathogenesis of endometriosis have been suggested, but the exact mechanisms remain elusive. Endometriotic lesions can be found on both the ureter and bladder, and the optimal therapeutic approach depends on the extent, depth, and location of these lesions. Medical approaches, including hormonal therapies such as GnRH agonists and oral contraceptives, tend to be a temporary measure, but can be useful in a preoperative setting or if the patient is unsuitable for surgery, and are also useful as a postoperative treatment. If surgical resection is deemed appropriate, laparoscopic management with or without robotic assistance of urological endometriosis is feasible and advisable. Newer techniques, such as nerve-sparing surgery, might help to decrease the risk of urinary complications following resection of deeply infiltrating endometriosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cystoscopy
  • Endometriosis / diagnosis
  • Endometriosis / physiopathology*
  • Endometriosis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Urologic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Urologic Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Urologic Diseases / therapy*
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures
  • Urological Agents / therapeutic use


  • Urological Agents