By I.Soussis. MD,MSc, FRCOG
A new study of 391 adolescent girls in the Boston area revealed that those with a surgically diagnosed
endometriosis were more likely to suffer from migraines. The study was published in Fertility and Sterility.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which the endometrium grows outside the uterus, typically in the abdominal cavity or on internal organs. Patients often experience significant pain and discomfort during their period or intercourse. Endometriosis may also lead to infertility or hysterectomy.
Current diagnostic methods that rely on laparoscopy, which often patients try to avoid, are delaying the diagnosis typically five to 10 years from the onset of symptoms.
Τhe presence of migraine may be a useful clue to better early detection.
Researchers compared the self-reported frequency and pain of migraine among two populations: adolescent girls with surgically-diagnosed endometriosis and girls of a similar demographic with no such diagnosis.
After adjusting for differences in population, researchers found that those with endometriosis were 5 times more likely to suffer from migraine than the comparable group.
Researchers have also seen a close linear relationship between the severity of migraine pain and the odds of endometriosis. The more painful the migraine was, the more likely it was that a subject had endometriosis. In a scale of zero to ten, for each one point increase in pain the odds of endometriosis increased by 22%.
A serious limitation of this study is that girls who have confirmed endometriosis were more likely to have taken hormonal medications, which could increase the risk of migraines.
The results of this study seem to corroborate a rapidly growing body of evidence from other researchers who have drawn the same conclusion in adult women and it presents a useful signal to help us diagnose women more accurately and at a younger age.