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From the Endometriosis Articles List

What is an endometrioma?What is an endometrioma?

An endometrioma is a benign cyst or pelvic mass made up of localized endometriosis. They are also known as chocolate, endometrioid, endometrial, or endometriotic cysts. Though they are more commonly known to involve the ovary, they can exist in other areas, too. Like endometriosis, there are only theories about what causes endometriomas.

Endometriomas contain thick, dark blood and may be seen using ultrasound. Final diagnosis, however, should be made following pathology. Most women with endometriomas will have other endometriosis implants, but at times endometriomas can occur without there being any noticeable endometriosis.

Endometriomas can cause pelvic pain or no symptoms at all. They do not tend to respond well to medical therapy, but having an endometrioma does not automatically mean you need treatment. Smaller endometriomas or ones that are not causing any symptoms may be best treated with expected management or a wait and see approach.

Endometriomas may be found on the ovary, in the cul-de-sac, on the broad or uterosacral ligaments, on the colon, and even on the uterus. They can exist both before and after a hysterectomy. Ovarian endometriomas can destroy the ovary, causing premature ovarian failure and fertility concerns. Ovarian endometriomas may also increase your risk for ovarian cancer.

Treatment for endometriomas range from expectant management to surgical removal. Oral contraceptives, GnRh agonists (Lupron), or draining the cyst are also options. Factors such as size, location, and fertility concerns help determine which treatment option is right for you.

Even if treatment is not necessary, it’s important to monitor an endometrioma. Rarely, an endometrioma will be malignant. Malignancy occurs mostly in women over 40 who have had a larger endometrioma for a long period of time.

An endometrioma may have burst and would require immediate medical treatment. So if you have an endometrioma, be sure to contact your doctor immediately if you experience a sudden increase in pain, nausea, or vomiting. You may also want to consult with an endometriosis specialist, especially if there is co-existing endometriosis.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-22-2015 - 05:58 PM


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