Definition - What does Bilateral Endometrioma mean?
Bilateral endometrioma are masses found on both ovaries that are formed from endometrial tissue, which are the cells found in the inner lining of the uterus. Endometriomas gradually enlarge and exert pressure on the normal ovarian tissue and can interfere with the normal function of the ovaries and the number and quality of the eggs in the ovaries. They can also lead to problems such as long-lasting pelvic pain, severe menstrual pain, and pain during sexual intercourse. The presence of endometriomas in both ovaries can significantly affect the reproductive function of a female leading to infertility.
Bilateral endometrioma is also known as bilateral chocolate cysts.
FertilitySmarts explains Bilateral Endometrioma
The glands within the endometrioma act like the endometrial tissue, meaning that they grow, produce secretions and get shed in response to estrogen and progesterone hormone levels in the body. The collection of blood and dead tissue inside these endometriomas has the likeness of molten chocolate, hence the name chocolate cyst.
Endometriomas are not cancer and they are not rare. It is reported that an endometrioma is seen in about 5–10% of women of reproductive age in the USA.
The presence of endometriomas can cause problems during pregnancy and childbirth. If the endometriomas are large enough, it can press on the uterus and interfere with the development of the fetus. It may also lead to difficulty in childbirth, requiring assisted delivery or caesarian section.
Pain caused by endometriomas is managed with painkillers. If the cysts are progressively enlarging, surgical removal is recommended to preserve fertility and to exclude the rare chance of endometriomas changing to ovarian cancer.
Endometrioma should not be confused with endometriosis, which is used to describe a condition where endometrial tissue is present at any site outside of the inner uterine lining.