Özge Özkaya, PhD

Özge has a Phd in Molecular Biology and several years experience working as a bench scientists. She has been working in science communication since 2014.

Babies Born Lighter May Have a Higher Risk of Developing Endometriosis Later in Life

Being exposed to growth restriction before birth seems to be associated with a higher risk of developing endometriosis during a woman’s reproductive years. Other factors such as having fewer liveborn children and prior infertility problems, also seem to be important but only in the case of external endometriosis. This is according to a population-based study conducted among Swedish women and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.  “Our study supports the developmental origins hypothesis of endometriosis,” the researchers wrote…

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Patients with Pelvic Pain Most Likely to Benefit from Endometriosis Surgery

Women who experience higher levels of pain are more likely to show improvement in their quality of life (QoL) following endometriosis surgery, according to a study published in The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. Chronic pelvic pain seems to be the most significant independent factor that can predict whether surgery will lead to a change in the quality of life.  Identifying predictive factors about the potential effect of surgery on quality of life can help doctors and patients make more…

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Baby Years and the Risk of Endometriosis

Early-life factors such as whether a baby was breastfed, have had vaginal bleeding at birth, or whether or not their father was a smoker may be associated with her risk of developing endometriosis in later life.  This is according to a study conducted in Chinese women and published in The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care. Identifying risk factors that may increase the risk of endometriosis could help design strategies to better manage or even prevent the disease.…

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Another Genetic Polymorphism That May Increase Risk of Endo

A single letter change in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) gene may significantly increase the risk of endometriosis.  This is according to a study conducted among women in Southwest China and published in the journal Medicine. Identifying genetic risk factors that may increase the risk of endometriosis could help better understand the biology of the disease, reduce its recurrence and the damage it causes, and help researchers find more effective ways to treat it in the future. For this…

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Does Endometriosis Reduce Ovarian Reserve?

Markers of ovarian reserve are worse in infertile women with endometriosis compared to women who cannot conceive due to male factor infertility regardless of whether or not they have had ovarian surgery. This finding is important because it suggests that endometriosis may alter ovarian reserve independently of ovarian injury caused by surgery. For the study that was published in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and The University of Arizona analyzed 671 women…

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New Link Between Endometriosis and Genetics?

Two new genes have been identified that may be associated with endometriosis. This finding increases our understanding of the biology of endometriosis and may take us one small step further towards the development of new ways of treating the condition.  Endometriosis is a complex condition, the cause of which is not fully understood. Researchers think that an interplay between genetic and environmental factors may be causing the condition.   Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a number of genes that may…

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Reducing the Risk of Recurrence After Endometriosis Surgery

The use of compounds called NF-κB inhibitors and β-blockers before and after endometriosis surgery may reduce the risk of the disease recurring, according to a study conducted in a mouse model. According to the study published in the journal Reproductive Sciences, the use of these compounds could delay the growth of residual endometriotic lesions that may be left behind during surgery. This, in turn, may reduce the risk of the disease recurring after surgery. The recurrence of endometriosis after surgery…

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Factors Affecting Women’s Choices to Enter Clinical Trials

Women were strongly influenced by their previous experiences and personal circumstances when deciding to take part in a clinical trial. This is based on the findings of a study published in the journal Pilot and Feasibility Studies that explored the effect of women’s past experiences with medical treatments for endometriosis and the impact this has on their motivation to enter a clinical trial called PRE-EMPT (preventing recurrence of endometriosis by means of long-acting progestogen therapy).  The findings of this study…

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Study Sheds Light on the Molecular Mechanism of Endometriosis Development

A protein called transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-B1) enhances the capacity of endometriotic cells or cells that make up the lining of the uterus to migrate, invade, and colonize other areas in the body. This is according to a study published in the scientific journal Biology of Reproduction.  Endometriosis is characterized by the growth of tissue resembling the endometrium or the lining of the uterus elsewhere in the body forming lesions. The exact cause of this is not known but one…

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Assistive Reproduction a Suitable Option for the Treatment of Endometriosis-Associated Infertility

Assistive reproductive techniques do not lead to a worsening in quality of life and only cause a slight worsening of pelvic pain, according to a study published in the scientific journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. This is the case regardless of whether or not a woman has endometriosis.  Assisted reproduction, therefore, seems to be a suitable option for the treatment of infertility in women with endometriosis.   Endometriosis affects around 10 percent of all women of reproductive age. The disease…

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Women with Persistent Pelvic Pain Have a Lower Pain Threshold

Women with persistent pelvic pain, whether this is caused by endometriosis or other reason, have a significantly reduced pain threshold compared to women without persistent pelvic pain. This is according to a study by researchers in Sweden, which was published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.  The authors suggest that this reduced pain threshold could be the result of so-called central sensitization where the nervous system goes through a process called “wind-up” and is in a persistent state…

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Conservative Surgery May Be Sufficient to Halt the Development of Deep Endometriosis

Deep endometriosis develops as a result of collective cell migration and nerve recruitment from surrounding organs, suggests a study published in the scientific journal Fertility and Sterility.   Collective cell migration is the biological process whereby a group of cells moves together without disrupting their contacts with each other. During collective cell migration, a connection between the cells in the center of the group and the so-called invasion front is essential for migration.  So if collective cell migration is the main…

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Pain Education or Cognitive Therapy Could Help Women with Endometriosis

Women with endometriosis have a significantly lower pain tolerance regardless of the intensity of the pain they experience or the severity of their disease, according to a study published in the scientific journal Fertility and Sterility.  Although pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis, it is not fully understood how it exactly develops; since the severity of the disease does not seem to correlate with the intensity of the pain which patients experience. Some researchers think that pain associated…

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Further Results From the FEELING Study Published

Some women are more likely to develop deep infiltrating endometriosis according to the further analysis of the results of the FEELING study. These are women who: are married, are older,  have siblings,  have had a prior pregnancy,  or for whom a long time has passed since their first period on the day of their visit  “The findings provide additional information on the potential risk factors that are associated with [deep infiltrating endometriosis]” the researchers wrote. They added that the results…

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Not True That Women With Endometriosis Can’t Conceive

The common assertion that women with endometriosis are unlikely to conceive is countered by a new study published in The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care. This finding supports the need for healthcare and information to address all aspects of fertility management for women with endometriosis, not just infertility. For the study, the team led by Dr. Jane Fisher at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia conducted a cross-sectional study…

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The use of Elagolix in Women with Liver and Kidney Impairments

Elagolix may be used in women with moderate liver impairment, when necessary, for up to six months at a dose of 150 mg a day, according to a study published in the scientific journal Clinical Pharmacology in Drug Development. The medication should however not be used in women with severe liver impairment. No dose adjustment is necessary for women with any degree of kidney impairment including end-stage kidney disease. Elagolix is an oral medication that has recently been approved by…

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Another Study Suggesting That Endometriosis May Be a Disease Associated With Immune System Dysfunction

An immune system protein called TGF-β in the peritoneal fluid or fluid that lubricates the lining of the abdominal wall and pelvic cavity may be creating an environment favorable for the formation of endometrial lesions. This is according to a study published in the scientific journal Immunology Letters.  This finding is important because it supports the idea that endometriosis may be, at least in part, a disease associated with immune system dysfunction. Researchers proposed several causes for the development of…

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Factors Associated with Endometriosis Risk

Socio-economic factors, lifestyle habits, and other physical and mental illnesses may be linked to endometriosis according to a new observational study published in the European Journal Of Obstetrics Gynecology And Reproductive Biology.  Endometriosis is a debilitating condition affecting as many as 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. The condition is characterized by tissue resembling the lining of the uterus growing elsewhere in the body, usually around the reproductive organs. This causes severe pelvic pain and can lead to reduced…

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Will Getting Pregnant Make My Pain Go Away?

Pregnancy can relieve the symptoms of endometriosis, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. However, for most women, the pain usually returns like in the case of hormonal therapy. This is an important finding because most women with endometriosis are advised by their doctor to become pregnant as soon as possible. However, this can be very stressful for patients especially if they are not ready to start a family.  “Overall,…

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Could Endometriosis-Related Infertility Be Genetic?

Researchers identified genetic polymorphisms or individual differences in two genes called AMA5 and KAZN among women with endometriosis who were infertile and control women who were fertile. The identification of these polymorphisms could help scientists better understand why some women with endometriosis are infertile. This could ultimately help them develop new ways to target these genes in order to treat endometriosis-associated infertility. Infertility is one of the main symptoms of endometriosis with women with the disease having a significantly lower…

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