Endometriosis is a chronic recurring disease that is often left undiagnosed. A high level of suspicion is required in women who present with pelvic pain. The current ‘gold standard’ for the diagnosis of pelvic endometriosis is a diagnostic laparoscopy.
- Endometriosis is defined as the presence of tissue lesions or nodules, histologically similar to the endometrium, at sites outside the uterus.
- It is a highly variable condition that has a wide spectrum of symptoms.
- The aetiology of endometriosis is probably multifactorial, with a strong familial component recognised.
- Women with endometriosis have multiple disturbances of function in the eutopic endometrium that women without the disease do not have.
- A firm diagnosis of endometriosis is rarely possible in general practice. The ‘gold standard’ for the diagnosis of pelvic endometriosis is currently a diagnostic laparoscopy.