It is so important to diagnose endometriosis early in life–catching it early provides the important opportunity to prevent the consequences of the disease’s later stages. However, endometriosis in young women is especially challenging to diagnose because it differs from that of adults. Support, compassionate care, and empathy are all necessary when a young woman is suffering from symptoms of endometriosis, but are not enough. We must do more, including early and accurate diagnosis, education, and early intervention of the early stage lesions in order to halt the progress of the disease. My whole goal in my practice and in the establishment of the Endometriosis Foundation of America is to increase awareness and availability of proper treatment so we can catch this disease in time to limit the damage it does to the body.
For the purpose of clarity on this page, I want to define some terms. I use the word "teenager" to describe a woman between the ages of 13-18, "young woman" for women between approximately 19-23 years old, and adolescents as encompassing both of these age groups. Most girls initially do not ovulate (anovulatory cycle), and therefore their periods are irregular. See the ovulation video clip above as it is relate to period cycle.
Prevalence and symptoms
Most women with endometriosis started experiencing symptoms in their teenage years (Nnoaham, 2011)
Endometriosis has been found in girls as young as 8 years old (Laufer, 2003)
According to an interesting theory, endometriosis may start forming in girls as young as newborns (Brosens, 2013)
The most common symptoms in adolescents differ from those of adults, and include:
NSAIDs can be used for pain management (Laufer, 2003)
often results in bone density loss and severe side effects (Laufer, 2003)
often result in dependency and addiction
analgesic (pain-killing) properties often decrease over prolonged periods of use (decreased efficacy)
prolonged use may actually increase the intensity of perceived pain (opioid-induced pain sensitivity) (Ballantyne, 2008; Mao, 2006)
Ballantyne, Jane C., and Naomi S. Shin. "Efficacy of opioids for chronic pain: a review of the evidence." The Clinical journal of pain 24.6 (2008): 469-478.
Brosens, Ivo, and Giuseppe Benagiano. "Is neonatal uterine bleeding involved in the pathogenesis of endometriosis as a source of stem cells?." Fertility and sterility 100.3 (2013): 622-623.
Brosens, Ivo, Patrick Puttemans, and Giuseppe Benagiano. "Endometriosis: a life cycle approach?." American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 209.4 (2013): 307-316.
Dovey, Serena, and Joseph Sanfilippo. "Endometriosis and the adolescent." Clinical obstetrics and gynecology 53.2 (2010): 420-428.
Doyle, J. O., S. A. Missmer, and M. R. Laufer. "The effect of combined surgical-medical intervention on the progression of endometriosis in an adolescent and young adult population." Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology 22.4 (2009): 257-263.
Laufer, Marc R., Joseph Sanfilippo, and Gillian Rose. "Adolescent endometriosis: diagnosis and treatment approaches." Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology 16.3 (2003): S3-S11.
Mao, Jianren. "Opioid-induced abnormal pain sensitivity." Current pain and headache reports 10.1 (2006): 67-70.
Shah, Divya K., and Stacey A. Missmer. "Scientific investigation of endometriosis among adolescents." Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology 24.5 (2011): S18-S19.
Smorgick, Noam, et al. "Prevalence of pain syndromes, mood conditions, and asthma in adolescents and young women with endometriosis." Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology 26.3 (2013): 171-175.
Yeung Jr, Patrick, et al. "Complete laparoscopic excision of endometriosis in teenagers: is postoperative hormonal suppression necessary?." Fertility and sterility 95.6 (2011): 1909-1912.
Vicino, Mauro, et al. "Endometriosis in young women: the experience of GISE." Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology 23.4 (2010): 223-225.
Our office is located on 872 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10065. You may call us at (646) 960-3080 or have your case reviewed by clicking here.
After years of excessively painful periods, a serious loss of quality of life, and a series of uninformed and uninterested doctors, Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein turned my life around. I was told I woke up from my surgery almost a year ago with a smile on my face, and I haven't stopped since. Before I heard of Dr. Seckin,…
Dr Seckin and his team gave me back my life! Tomorrow will be 1 month since my surgery and I feel great. Dr. Seckin, Dr Liu, and Dr Goldstein are not only beyond words talented and amazing Doctors, but they are also genuinely wonderful and caring people. I cannot say enough great things about Holly, Asiye and Kim as well.…
Dr. Seckin and his staff spared me from years and years of heavy periods and unbearable endometriosis pain. After having surgery with him (my first) I can now function like a regular human. No more eating NSAIDs like candy and calling out sick from work. Thank you, Dr. Seckin!
I underwent surgery with Dr. Seckin in 2017 and have felt like a new woman ever since. If you have, or suspect you have endometriosis, Dr. Seckin and his compassionate team of surgeons and staff are a must-see.
I have struggled with endometriosis and adenomyosis since first starting my period at 13. I was diagnosed at 21 and what followed was a series of unsuccessful surgeries and treatments. My case was very aggressive and involved my urinary tract system and my intestines. After exhausting all of my local doctors I was lucky enough to find Dr. Seckin. We…
Like so many women who have tirelessly sought a correct diagnosis and proper, thorough medical treatment for endometriosis, I found myself 26 years into this unwanted journey without clear answers or help from four previous gynecological doctors and two emergency laparoscopic surgeries. I desperately wanted to avoid the ER again; a CT scan for appendicitis also revealed a likely endometrioma…