Endometriosis and Leiomymas

Endometriosis is the presence of normal appearing endometrium in sites other than their normal location inside the uterus.

Endometriosis is a chronic, long-term, painful disease that can affect woman for their entire reproductive life. Complaints vary depending on the organ involved. The more common symptoms include pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea and infertility.

Ectopic endometrical implants contain receptors for both oestrogen and progesterone. in addition to being an anti-progestin and anti-glucocorticoid, mifepristone is a non-competitive anti-oestrogen. Exogenous oestrogen has a mitogenic effect on the endometrium. Mifepristone blocks the capacity of the endometrical tissue to grow in response to oestrogen. Therefore mifepristone is a possible new hormone treatment for endometriosis.

Leiomyomas are benign, smooth muscle tumours present in at least 20% of all woman. Leiomyomas are frequently asymptomatic but they may become large enough to distort the shape of the uterus completely. When symptoms do occur they consist of abdominal bleeding, pelvic pressure, and infertility. They are a leading cause of hysterectomies.

The anti-oestrogenic properties of mifepristone make it a possible treatment for Leiomyomas.

Much research remains to be carried out, but from early trials it looks as though mifepristone is a promising alternative therapy for both Endometriosis and Leiomyomas.