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.
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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…
I am so grateful to Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein. My experience was nothing short of amazing. I was misdiagnosed with the location of my fibroids and have had a history of endometriosis. Dr. Seckin was the one who accurately diagnosed me. Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein really care about their patients and it shows. They listened to my concerns,…
When I think of Dr. Seckin these are the words that come to mind. Gratitude, grateful, life-changing, a heart of gold. I feel compelled to give you a bit of background so you can understand the significance of this surgery for me.
I am passionate about Endometriosis because it has affected me most of my life and I have a…
Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein radically changed my quality of life. They treat their patients with dignity & respect that I've personally never seen in the literally 25+ doctors I've seen for endometriosis.
This summer, I had a surgery with Dr. Seckin & Goldstein. It was my first with them, but my 5th endo surgery. I couldn't believe the difference,…
I was in pain for 2 years. I was getting no answers, and because dr Goldstein and dr seckins were willing to see and treat me I'm finally feeling almost back to normal. They were very down to earth and helpful in my time of need. Dr Goldstein was easy to talk to and caring, she took care of me…
Dr. Seckin is one of the best endometriosis surgeon. Every time I go to the office, he really listens to me and is always concerned about my issues. Dr Seckin's office staff are a delight and they always work with me. I feel I can leave everything to them and they will take care of it. Thank you to the…
Fast forward 5 years to find out incidentally I had a failing kidney. My left kidney was only functioning at 18%. During this time, I was preparing all my documents to send to Dr. Seckin to review. However, with this new information I put everything on hold and went to a urologist. After a few months, no one could figure…
I had a wonderful experience working with Dr. Seckin and his team before, during and after my surgery. I came to Dr. Seckin having already had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis 5 years prior, with a different surgeon. My symptoms and pain had returned, making my life truly challenging and my menstrual cycle unbearable. Dr. Seckin was quick to validate my…
I came to Dr. Seckin after years of dealing with endometriosis and doctors who didn't fully understand the disease. He quickly ascertained what needed to be done, laid out the options along with his recommendation and gave me the time to make the right decision for me. My surgery went without a hitch and I'm healing very well. He and…
Dr. Seckin brought me back to life! I am now 3 weeks into my recovery after my laparoscopy surgery, and I feel like a new and improved woman! Being diagnosed with Endometriosis, then 25yrs old in 2015, and discovering the severity of my case being stage 4, made me devastated. Dr. Seckin's vast knowledge of the disease, sincere empathy, and…