|Endometriosis of ovary|
|Transvaginal ultrasonography showing a 67 x 40 mm endometrioma as distinguished from other types of ovarian cysts by a somewhat grainy and not completely anechoic content.|
|Classification and external resources|
Endometrioma is the presence of endometrial tissue in and sometimes on the ovary. More broadly, endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue located outside the uterus. The presence of endometriosis can result in the formation of scar tissue, adhesions and an inflammatory reaction. It is a benign growth. An endometrioma is most often found in the ovary. It can also develop in the cul-de-sac (the space behind the uterus), the surface of the uterus, and between the vagina and rectum.
Endometrial tissue is the mucous membrane that normally lines the uterus. The endometrium is richly supplied with blood and its growth is regulated by estrogen and progesterone. It consists of glandular and stroma tissue from the lining of the uterus.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used first in patients with pelvic pain, particularly if the diagnosis of endometriosis has not been definitively (excision and biopsy) established. The goal of directed medical treatment is to achieve an anovulatory state. Typically, this is achieved initially using hormonal contraception. This can also be accomplished with progestational agents (i.e., medroxyprogesterone acetate), danazol, gestrinone, or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH), as well as other less well-known agents. These agents are generally used if oral contraceptives and NSAIDs are ineffective. GnRH can be combined with estrogen and progestogen (add-back therapy) without loss of efficacy but with fewer hypoestrogenic symptoms. These medications are often ineffective in treating endometriomas and any relief is short lived while taking the medications. Hormonal treatment has a large number of sometimes permanent side effects, such as hot flushes, loss of bone mass, deepening of voice, weight gain, and facial hair growth.[medical citation needed]
Laparoscopic surgical approaches include excision of ovarian adhesions and of endometriomas. Endometriomas frequently require surgical removal and excision is considered to be superior in terms of permanent removal of the disease and pain relief. Surgery can sometimes have the effect of improving fertility but can have the adverse effect of leading to increases in cycle day 2 or 3 FSH for many patients.
Laser surgery and cauterization are considered to be far less effective and only burn the top layer of endometrial tissue, allowing for the endometrioma and endometriosis to grow back quickly. Likewise, endometrioma drainage or sclerotherapy are somewhat controversial technique for removing endometriomas with varied degrees of success. Conservative surgery can be performed to preserve fertility in younger patients but as earlier stated can have the effect of raising FSH values and making the ovaries less productive, especially if functional ovarian tissue is removed in the surgical process.