Got questions about adolescent endometriosis? A specialist from Mediclinic Welcare Hospital answered all our questions about this disorder
15 March 2021| Last updated on 16 March 2021
Endometriosis in adolescents is a hidden, progressive and severe disease that deserves attention..
If you've never heard of endometriosis before, then now is a great time to, especially if you have a daughter or you've experienced menstrual pain in your adolescent years.
Dysmenorrhea, or menstrual pain, is the most common menstrual symptom among adolescent girls and young women.
Most adolescents (age 10-19, according to the World Health Organisation) experiencing menstrual pain have a condition called 'primary dysmenorrhea', which is a painful menstruation in the absence of pelvic pathology.
Here's what you must know about how painful menstruations tie in to endometriosis.
What are the different types of dysmenorrhea?
Primary dysmenorrhea typically begins when adolescents begin their ovulatory cycles, usually within six to 12 months of onset of periods.
Secondary dysmenorrhea refers to painful menses due to pelvic pathology or a recognised medical condition.
Here is where endometriosis comes in, as endometriosis is the leading cause of secondary dysmenorrhea in adolescents.
Adolescent endometriosis is more common than previously thought and is a significant cause of cyclic and acyclic chronic pelvic pain.
Although the true causes of endometriosis in adolescents is unknown, at least two thirds of adolescent girls who experience chronic pelvic pain or period paid, and are unresponsive to hormonal therapies and NSAIDs, will be diagnosed with endometriosis at the time of diagnostic laparoscopy.
Endometriosis in young girls is considered a chronic disease with potential for progression if left untreated.
Endometriosis is a likely diagnosis in young girls and women with persistent, clinically significant period pain despite treatment with hormonal agents or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Even more so if no other pelvic pathology has been identified by your doctor based on symptoms, physical examination, and pelvic ultrasonography.
Treatments for dysmenorrhea in Dubai
Most adolescents who present with dysmenorrhea have primary dysmenorrhea, and will respond well to empiric treatment (treatment based on observation and response) with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (painkillers) or hormonal suppression, or both.
Endometriosis treatment through therapy
The goals of therapy include:
- Symptom relief
- Suppression of the disease's progression
- Protection of future fertility
Endometriosis therapy in Dubai will be individualised. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and hormonal pills are the mainstay of treatment for pain relief in young girls and teenagers with endometriosis.
If initial medical treatment fails then the recommended treatment for endometriosis is conservative surgical therapy for diagnosis and treatment combined with ongoing suppressive medical therapies to prevent further health complications.
In a laparoscopy, the appearance of endometriosis may be different in an adolescent than in an adult woman.
For girls and teenagers, endometriotic lesions are typically clear or red and can be difficult to identify for gynaecologists unfamiliar with endometriosis in adolescents.
Endometriosis is a condition that once diagnosed, will require lifelong management to improve health, future fertility and quality of life. Early identification and appropriate treatments by a multidisciplinary team are important in achieving these goals.
Concerned about painful periods and endometriosis?