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Endometriosis: A Glossary of Common Terms

Endometriosis: A Glossary of Common Terms

This is a glossary of terms you may come across when dealing with endometriosis and pelvic pain, as described at http://endometriosis.org/glossary/ By educating yourself, you will be able to make more well informed decisions about your health.


Disease characterised by growth of the endometrium into the walls of the uterus.


Scar tissue that is formed by bleeding endometriosis lesions and surgery. This scar tissue can bind together internal organs and surfaces.

Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy

Removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Bowel resection

A surgical procedure performed when a blockage of the intestines occurs. The procedure removes the portion of the bowel where the obstruction is located.


To burn tissue with electrical current (electrocautery) or with a laser. Used in surgical procedures to remove unwanted tissue such as adhesions and endometriotic implants. Also used to control bleeding.

Chocolate cyst (endometrioma)

A cyst in the ovary that is filled with old blood, also known as an endometrioma. It occurs when endometriosis invades an ovary.


Painful menstruation. This may be a sign of endometriosis.


A method of removing endometriosis by physically cutting it out of the body, normally via laparoscopy.


Surgical removal of the uterus. When the ovaries and the fallopian tubes are also removed, it is called hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy.


A surgical procedure used as the primary means of diagnosing endometriosis; also used to treat endometriosis. A lighted tube is inserted into the belly button through which the surgeon can view the inside of the abdomen. Instruments can be inserted into other small incisions to remove or destroy endometriosis.


Open abdominal surgery.

Pelvic floor dysfunction

Disorders of the pelvic floor related to physiological or anatomical abnormalities. They include incontinence, prolapse, pain syndromes, and others.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

A condition found in women who don’t ovulate, characterised by excessive production of androgens (male sex hormones) and the presence of cysts in the ovaries. Though PCOS can be without symptoms, some include excessive weight gain, acne, and excessive hair growth.


Painful vulva, also sometimes associated with urinary symptoms, painful intercourse and generalised pelvic pain.

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Breanna Neufeld

Breanna Neufeld is a visual artist and writer, born and raised on the prairies of Manitoba, Canada.

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