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Is endometriosis the same as endometritis?

By Alicia Francos Pérez M.D., M.Sc. (gynecologist).
Last Update: 11/29/2021

The endometrium is the part of the uterus that, each month, under the influence of ovarian hormones, prepares to receive an embryo. If the embryo reaches the endometrium and implants, the endometrium nourishes and protects it. On the other hand, if no embryo arrives, the endometrium, at the end of the cycle due to the drop in ovarian hormones, sheds and menstruation occur.

Endometritis is an inflammation at the endometrial level. It can be produced by different causes such as after an intervention or uterine manipulation, after childbirth or abortion, placement of an IUD... However, most often endometritis is due to infection of the tissue by microorganisms that reach the endometrium upward from the vagina. Among the most common microorganisms are chlamydia and gonococcus, although numerous pathogens have been described in endometrial samples with endometritis. Furthermore, depending on its course, endometritis can be acute or chronic.

On the other hand, endometriosis is a proliferative, benign, but highly destructive disease of the reproductive tract.

There are different theories as to why there are women in whom part of the endometrial tissue appears in other locations and under the influence of the same ovarian hormones, proliferates and gives rise to endometriotic implants (when they are small), nodules (when they are larger) and endometriomas (when they form cysts in the ovaries). This endometrial tissue can be located in various places, from the lung and pleura to the stomach and intestine. But the most frequent location is at the level of the ovaries and tubes. Its location in the ovaries causes follicular endowment to be lost in its growth, and at the tubal level, it affects their mobility and can even obstruct them.

The evolution of endometriosis is very unpredictable, there are women with small implants that do not change for years and others in which the evolution is rapid, extending widely in the pelvis. Moreover, from a clinical point of view, there are patients who have no symptoms at all, while others present significant symptoms, such as severe menstrual pain, abdominal pain outside the period, pain during sexual intercourse, pain with defecation... Another of the most frequent presentations is sterility, accompanied or not by other symptoms. Therefore, it is very important, in the case of a patient with reproductive problems, to evaluate and study the presence of pelvic endometriosis.

 Alicia Francos Pérez
Alicia Francos Pérez
M.D., M.Sc.
Gynecologist
Alicia Francos has a degree in Medicine from the University of Salamanca and a Master's degree in Mastology and Breast Pathology from the Autonomous University of Madrid and another Master's degree in Human Fertility from the Complutense University of Madrid. She also has a diploma in Gynaecological Endoscopic Surgery from the Université Clermont Ferrand.
License: 330840199
Gynecologist. Alicia Francos has a degree in Medicine from the University of Salamanca and a Master's degree in Mastology and Breast Pathology from the Autonomous University of Madrid and another Master's degree in Human Fertility from the Complutense University of Madrid. She also has a diploma in Gynaecological Endoscopic Surgery from the Université Clermont Ferrand. License: 330840199.