Endometriosis in an indigenous African women population
Introduction: Endometriosis is the existence of endometrial tissue outside the endometrial cavity. It has high prevalence in women living in developed countries but is believed to be rare among indigenous African women.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the prevalence and characteristics of endometriosis in an indigenous African women population.
Methods: Gynaecological specimens received and diagnosed as endometriosis in a teaching hospital’s Histopathology laboratory over a 5-year period was retrospectively reviewed. Data obtained were analysed by simple statistical methods.
Results: There were 25 diagnosed cases of endometriosis representing 0.9% of gynaecological specimens received in the period. Patients’ average age is 38.4±8.4 years; peak age was 31- 40 years (n=10; 40%). Myometrium is the most common site (n=16; 64%), other sites include umbilicus and round ligament etc. Pelvic pain, 36% and irregular uterine bleeding, 28% are most common symptoms. There was primary and secondary infertility in 20% and 16% of cases respectively. The umbilical and suprapubic masses had symptoms that synchronised with the patient’s menstrual cycle.
Conclusion: Endometriosis has low prevalence in our population. Women presenting with chronic pelvic pain, infertility and menstrual disorders should be evaluated for endometriosis. Population-based study is required to further characterize the condition in our population.
Keywords: Endometriosis; indigenous African women; endometrial tissue; chronic pelvic pain; infertility; abnormal uterine bleeding.
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