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.

Factors affecting risk of ovarian endometriosis malignancy

Getting married when older, having had ovarian endometriosis for longer, giving birth in a shorter time, and other complications in the uterus that are benign may all increase the risk of ovarian endometriosis malignancy. This is according to a study by Chinese researchers that was published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. According to the study, factors that seem to increase the risk of ovarian endometriosis malignancy to return include endometriosis being in an advanced stage, clear-cell carcinomas (a…

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Could Vitamin D Be Linked to Endometriosis?

There does not seem to be a cause-effect relationship between vitamin D status and endometriosis. In other words, too much or not enough vitamin D does not seem to be associated with endometriosis. This is according to a review of the literature conducted by researchers in Italy. Understanding such a relationship, if it exists, would be important in developing new strategies to treat this debilitating condition. It is known that vitamin D is involved in the function of many organs…

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Study Sheds Light on Physiological Processes Associated with Endometriosis

Sensory nerves play an important role in the development of endometriosis as well as fibrosis, confirms a study by Chinese researchers.  A better understanding of physiological processes associated with the development of endometriosis can help researchers devise new ways to treat the disease. Sensory nerves are nerves that are involved in carrying sensory information such as pain and other sensations from different parts of the body to the brain.  Researchers know that endometriotic lesions are hyper-innervated, i.e. have excessive nervous…

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New Protein for Endometriosis Diagnosis

A protein called TIMP3 (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3) could be used for the diagnosis and prognosis (likely course) of endometriosis.  The early diagnosis of endometriosis is of paramount importance because it can help to diagnosis and thus initiate the right course of treatment without delay, therefore, preventing the development of complication associated with the disease including infertility. A group of researchers from Greece, led by Dr. Grigorios Grimbizis, analysed the expression pattern of TIMP3 in endometrial lesions and in the…

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How Long Does it Take to Be Diagnosed with Endometriosis?

It takes a median of eight years to reach a diagnosis of endometriosis from when the symptoms of the condition first appear confirmed a new British study. Interestingly, it seems that the earlier the symptoms appear, the later the disease is diagnosed. According to the authors, factors that contribute to a delayed diagnosis include: menstrual cramps in adolescence,  the presence of rectovaginal endometriosis,  the normalization of pain and,  the attitudes of healthcare professionals These findings highlight the importance of educating…

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Disparities in Access to Healthcare in Women with Endometriosis

There are significant differences in the use of medical services and prescriptions between women with endometriosis who have private healthcare and those who don’t. This is according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.   This finding is important because it underlines the importance of developing healthcare programs to allow all women with endometriosis to be able to access healthcare services and prescriptions. It is also important because it shows the importance of research on healthcare…

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Which Diagnosis Technique is Better?

Transvaginal ultrasound provides a more accurate localization of vaginal and recto-vaginal endometriosis compared to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) according to a study published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. However, MRI has better accuracy in detecting bladder endometriosis and should be recommended if suspicion of bladder endometriosis exists, according to the authors. The accuracy of the two methods does not seem to be influenced by the size of the nodules. Choosing the right method can increase the accuracy…

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Early Developmental Gene May Play a Role in Endometriosis

An early developmental gene called twist may encourage the connective tissue cells of the lining of the uterus to change from being epithelial to being mesenchymal, so-called epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT).  Mesenchymal cells play important roles in biological processes such as tissue repair, scarring, and tumor invasiveness. They are able to migrate, invade other tissues, and are resistant to programmed cell death. EMT is known to contribute to the development and spread of endometriosis. Identifying new genetic factors contributing…

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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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