For a teen, what is endometriosis?

Hugo D. Ribot Jr., MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Teens can get endometriosis just the same as adults. One should consider endometriosis in teens who have the triad of classic symptoms:

1) Dysmenorrhea (severe, usually sharp cramping pain just before and during the menstrual cycle, especially if poorly responsive to ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)

2) Dyspareunia (painful intercourse, especially deep in the pelvis)

3) Menstrual Dyschezia (a deep pelvic and/or rectal pain when passing a bowel movement during one's period)

ESPECIALLY if there is little to no improvement with a 3-6 month trial of birth control pills, Depo Provera, NuvaRing, or some other hormonally based method which suppresses ovulation. If this is the case, the evaluation should include a pelvic exam, ultrasound, and if no clear explanation for the pain is evident, diagnostic and if necessary therapeutic laparoscopy with EXCISION (removal) of all visible endometriosis, not ablation which is a superficial burning which may fail to remove deeply infiltrating implants. 

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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.