Arnaud Fauconnier and Charles Chapron published “Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain: Epidemiological Evidence of the Relationship and Implications,” henceforth “Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain,” in the journal Human Reproduction Update in 2005. In that article, the researchers studied the relationship between pelvic pain and endometriosis. Endometriosis is the growth of endometrium, or tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, outside of the uterus. The authors review medical studies in order to determine how much evidence exists that endometriosis causes chronic pelvic pain symptoms. Then, the authors describe specific relationships between different types of endometriotic lesions and pain symptoms. By establishing specific relationships between pain and endometriosis, “Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain” helped healthcare professionals diagnose and treat pelvic pain related to endometriosis.
Hans Peter Dietz and Judy Simpson published, “Levator Trauma is Associated with Pelvic Organ Prolapse,” in the journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2008. In their article, Dietz and Simpson estimated the risk of pelvic organ prolapse in women who attained injuries to the pelvic levator muscles. The levator muscles, also known as the levator ani, are a major muscle group that comprise the pelvic floor. Along with other muscles, the pelvic floor supports organs in a woman’s pelvis, such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum. Vaginal childbirth can cause a weakening of the pelvic muscles. That can lead to pelvic organ prolapse, which results in the descent of the pelvic organs towards a woman’s vaginal opening. In, “Levator Trauma is Associated with Pelvic Organ Prolapse,” Dietz and Simpson found that women were more likely to have pelvic organ prolapse if they had levator trauma, and called for further research to understand the relationship between levator ani trauma and pelvic organ prolapse.
In 1997, physicians and researchers Ambre Olsen, Virginia Smith, John Bergstrom, Joyce Colling, and Amanda Clark published, “Epidemiology of Surgically Managed Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Urinary Incontinence,” in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. In their article, the authors retrospectively analyzed data from patients who underwent surgery for pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence two years prior in 1995. Often due to a weakening of or damage to their pelvic muscles, women with pelvic organ prolapse can experience a descent of pelvic organs into the lower pelvis and vagina. People with urinary incontinence can experience bladder control issues and urinary leaks. According to the authors, an estimated fifty percent of women who have previously given birth have had a prolapse. In their article, Olsen and colleagues analyze factors such as race, age, and weight in women who had surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse and ultimately advocate for a standard assessment for the severity of those conditions.
In 1996, a team of researchers associated with the International Continence Society published “The Standardization of Terminology of Female Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction” in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Pelvic organ prolapse is characterized by the descent of the pelvic organs into the lower portion of the pelvis and is often caused by a weakening of the muscles and ligaments that normally hold the organs in place. The authors concluded that physicians and researchers needed to develop a system of standardized terms to use to describe the anatomical position of pelvic organ prolapse in women. They propose using terms that emphasize the location of the prolapse rather than just the involved organ. They also suggest that the system utilizes a series of examinations and imaging to uniformly describe and quantify pelvic organ prolapse. The article by Bump and colleagues was one of the first to call for a standardized system using specific terms to communicate findings about pelvic organ prolapse systematically across clinical and academic research settings.
In 2007, physicians John Jelovsek, Christopher Maher, and Matthew Barber published, “Pelvic Organ Prolapse,” in The Lancet. In their article, Jelovsek and colleagues provided an overview of pelvic organ prolapse in women and described the epidemiology, risk factors, symptoms, and management of the condition. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when a woman’s pelvic floor is weakened or damaged from stress or trauma such as vaginal childbirth. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that provides support to organs within the lower abdominal region of the body, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. Disorders of the pelvic floor disrupt its normal function, often causing a feeling of uncomfortable pressure or pain, and incontinence, which is involuntary leakage of urine or feces. In their article, Jelovsek and colleagues reviewed the known information about pelvic organ prolapse as of 2007 and research teams who further studied the causes and management of pelvic organ prolapse in women later used the article as a reference.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a common condition in women that causes the pelvic organs to descend, often resulting from a weakened pelvic floor. Pelvic organs supported by the pelvic floor, such as the bladder, bowel, or uterus, can descend to such a degree that they project out from a woman’s body typically via the vagina. Pelvic floor stress or trauma, like vaginal childbirth, can cause pelvic organ prolapse. Women with pelvic organ prolapse also often experience other conditions, such as incontinence or the involuntary leakage of urine or fecal matter. As a result, while many women experience pressure or fullness from the prolapse itself, other common symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse are those involving the bladder or the bowel. Treatments for prolapse depend on the woman’s symptoms, and include pessaries, surgery, and pelvic floor exercises. As of 2021, researchers and physicians continue to study pelvic organ prolapse to determine how different treatments can be tailored to specific causes or symptoms.
In 2010, Albert L. Hsu, Izebella Khchikyan, and Pamela Stratton published “Invasive and Non-invasive Methods for the Diagnosis of Endometriosis,” henceforth “Methods for the Diagnosis of Endometriosis,” in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. In the article, the authors describe how specific types of endometriotic lesions appear in the body and evaluate five methods for diagnosing endometriosis. Endometriosis is the growth of endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, outside of the uterus. The authors state that although endometriosis impacts many women, the condition is difficult to identify. They identify laparoscopy, an invasive surgical procedure, as the most accurate diagnostic method. By analyzing the effectiveness of available diagnostic methods, the authors help physicians diagnose endometriosis and increase the quality of life for affected women.
Leuprolide acetate, or leuprorelin, is a manufactured drug that has been prescribed as a treatment for endometriosis, a medical condition in which body tissue that typically lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus, since 1989. Leuprorelin is a modified version of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone, a type of hormone that helps regulate the female menstrual cycle. The drug inhibits the production of estrogen, a female sex hormone that enables endometrial gland growth. After two weeks of injections, leuprorelin stops the production of estrogen, and without estrogen, endometrial glands become inactive. That decreases the growth of uterine tissue outside of the uterus, which helps decrease the pain associated with endometriosis. Although physicians commonly prescribe leuprorelin as of 2019, women with endometriosis have reported adverse side effects and health complications.
In 2011, Cristian Persu, Christopher Chapple, Victor Cauni, Stefan Gutue, and Petrisor Geavlete published “Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System (POP-Q) – A New Era in Pelvic Prolapse Staging,” in the Journal of Medicine and Life. In their article, the authors explain the need for a reliable diagnostic method for describing the state of a pelvic organ prolapse, or a condition that can result from weakness or damage to the muscles that support the pelvic organs, sometimes leading to bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction. Persu and colleagues describe a previous diagnostic method, the Baden-Walker Halfway Scoring System, comparing it to the newer system, the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System, referred to also as POP-Q. By examining the benefits and drawbacks of each pelvic organ prolapse measurement and diagnostic system, the authors proposed a universal acceptance of the POP-Q system, based on its accuracy and reliability.