More Than Typical Period Pain – Everything You Need to Know About Endometriosis in Teens and Adolescents
While some pain and cramping are normal before and during menstruation, intense pelvic pain that occurs one-to-two weeks prior and lasts throughout a period could be something more serious.
In fact, when these symptoms persist for three months or longer in children and teens, they should be evaluated by a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist.
If your teen is suffering from especially uncomfortable periods that are interfering with school, social activities, and quality of life, she may have endometriosis.
So, what is endometriosis and how is it diagnosed and treated?
Here’s what you need to know about endometriosis in teens and adolescents.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a gynecologic condition in which menstrual tissue grows outside of the uterus and into the pelvis.
What Are Risk Factors for Endometriosis?
Young women that have a mother or sister with endometriosis or those that started menstruation earlier in life are at an increased risk. Having prolonged periods is another contributing factor.
What Are Commons Symptoms of Endometriosis in Teens and Adolescents?
There’s typical menstrual cramping and discomfort, and then there’s endometriosis pain, which is much different.
Pain associated with endometriosis is often described as a dull, achy, tightening, throbbing, or stabbing sensation that typically starts one-to-two weeks before a menstrual cycle and persists for the duration of bleeding.
While this pelvic pain typically originates in the region below the belly button, it may also be felt in the muscles of the abdominal wall.
Additionally, endometriosis in teens and adolescents can also present as lower back pain and pain that extends down the legs.
How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?
Many patients endure endometriosis for an average of four-to-10 years before receiving an accurate diagnosis, and the standard diagnostic tool is a minimally invasive procedure called a laparoscopy. During the operation, the surgeon is able to confirm endometriosis and remove scar tissue.
Because Dr. Dadger has extensive training and experience with endometriosis and minimally invasive surgery, her patients are able to achieve a diagnosis and return to their busy lives much sooner than expected.
How Can Endometriosis Be Treated?
Following surgery and diagnosis, endometriosis in teens and adolescents can be treated with medication. This includes medications that decrease menstrual flow and estrogen levels and non-narcotic pain relievers.
Endometriosis requires lifelong management, but under the care of a leading gynecologist and surgeon like Dr. Dadger, young women can achieve relief and improve their quality of life. Call Shady Grove Gyn Care today to schedule a consultation with her.