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Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2015;36(1):15-23.

Neuroendocrine and stress-related aspects of endometriosis.

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Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Siena, Italy.
Department of Neurosciences and Reproductive Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.


Endometriosis is a model of a benign gynecologic disease associated with two major symptoms: pain and infertility. When becomes chronic, severe psychological and neuroendocrine changes may occur. The high levels of perceived stress caused by symptoms cause a neuroendocrine disequilibrium thus contributing to the progression of the disease. Elevated stress levels alter hormonal secretions, mood and behavior, sexual disorders and appetite custom. Inflammatory comorbidities may be associated with elevated stress in endometriotic patients (inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue) and even autoimmune diseases (thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis). Neurogenic mechanisms are described in endometriotic lesions and they affect peripheral and central nervous system of these patients increasing pain sensitivity and stress reactivity. In conclusion, endometriosis is a disease which affects reproductive and neuroendocrine functions with a great impact on women's health and quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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