Endometriosis is NOT fatal.
More Info: Though endometriosis may have life-threatening complications, it is not fatal by itself.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue is not shed properly during menstruation. This tissue may implant in other regions of the pelvis, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowels or other areas. Since the implanted tissues tend to grow with each period of menstruation in response to hormone stimulation, a number of complications may occur with potentially fatal outcomes. Regardless of the pain or types of treatment, an extremely malignant and fatal form of cancer develops in endometrial implants in very rare cases.
Potential Complications of Hormone Treatment
Several medical interventions are commonly used to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of endometriosis. The riskiest medical treatments include hormone therapy and surgery. Treatment with progesterone supplements may cause obesity and/or clinical depression. These complications are potentially life-threatening. Obesity is a known risk factor for heart disease and cancer, and untreated depression may lead to suicide in severe cases.
Complications of Surgical Treatment
The two surgical options most commonly recommended include pelvic laparoscopy and hysterectomy. Laparoscopic procedures are minimally invasive, and fatal complications are extremely rare. Hysterectomy is a highly invasive procedure that introduces the risk of infection. This risk is often countered by the prophylactic use of antibiotics.
Potentially Fatal Complications of Endometriosis
With the progression of the disease, large cysts sometimes develop and rupture. This causes excruciating pain, but it is non-fatal with treatment. Endometrial tissue may also swell large enough to block the flow of urine and stool, which is life threatening if left untreated. The only fatal complication is a very rare cancer that forms in the proximity of endometrial implants. This is not the same as an endometrial cancer. As with other cancers, prognosis depends on timely diagnosis and treatment.
“Endometriosis – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/endometriosis/DS00289
“Endometriosis – PubMed Health.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001913/