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Hum Reprod. 2003 Apr;18(4):760-6.

Deep infiltrating endometriosis: relation between severity of dysmenorrhoea and extent of disease.

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Service de chirurgie gynécologique, Clinique universitaire Baudelocque, CHU Cochin, Saint Vincent de Paul, La Roche-Guyon, 123, bd Port-Royal 75079 Paris Cedex 14, France.



Little is known about the precise nature of the relationship between dysmenorrhoea (DM) and endometriosis. Our aim was to evaluate the relationship between the severity of DM in women with posterior deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) and indicators of the extent of their disease.


Various indicators of the extent of DIE were recorded during surgery in 209 women. The severity of their DM was assessed with a pain scale. The scale was retrospective for 155 women and prospective for 54. Correlations were sought with an ordinal logistic regression model with cumulative odds.


On univariate analysis the following variables were related to the severity of DM: number of previous surgical procedures for endometriosis; revised American Fertility society classification; extensiveness of adnexal adhesion; Douglas obliteration; size of the posterior DIE implant; extent of the sub-peritoneal infiltration by the posterior DIE (rectal, vaginal or both versus sub-peritoneal only). Current infertility was associated with less severe DM. After multiple regression analysis, presence of a rectal or vaginal infiltration by the posterior DIE and extensiveness of adnexal adhesion were the only factors that remained related to DM severity.


The concept of 'very deep infiltrating endometriosis', defined as implants invading the wall of the pelvic organ, should be tested in future classification systems specifically addressed to the prediction of endometriosis-related pain.

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