How does endometriosis change with age?

J M. Gresham, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Endometriosis doesn’t have to worsen with age. While endometriosis is a chronic condition that has no cure, there are effective treatments that can help manage the pain and fertility issues.
Although the cause and course of endometriosis is still not completely clear, it is thought that the pain from endometriosis is likely caused by the endometrial glandular tissue outside of the uterus changing with your menstrual cycle; once you stop menstruating or go through menopause, the pain should improve. It is known that endometriosis can have much different courses in different people. For example, in one study where a second-look laparoscopy (look inside the abdomen) was done six to twelve months after surgery, approximately one third of women had regression of the disease (fewer areas), approximately one third had progression and approximately one third remained stable.
With time, endometriosis can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system so it is best to speak with your doctor promptly. The longer your endometriosis goes untreated, the worse it becomes. However, if you are taking medications that deter or discontinue your periods, you may be able to halt the destructive symptoms of endometriosis. Once you go through menopause, your endometriosis should stop entirely, although in rare cases it may continue. Furthermore, physical damage from endometriosis (scar tissue and adhesions) may cause continuing symptoms.

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Endometriosis

Are you one of seven million women in the United States with endometriosis? If so, you may also be struggling with infertility. Endometriosis is a female reproductive disorder characterized by pelvic pain, inflammation and vaginal ...

bleeding. This painful condition can affect any female of menstruating age, although it is more likely to run in families. If you experience abnormal bleeding or pelvic pain, talk to your doctor. While there is no known cause, and no known cure for endometriosis, treatments do exist, including medications and surgery to reduce symptoms and restore fertility.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.