At what age is endometriosis a common condition?
Recent data show that endometriosis is a condition that occurs in 6-10 % of the women of reproductive age - approximately 6 million women in the U.S. The average age for endometriosis cases was thought to be around 30-40 years of age.
Endometriosis is the name of a chronic condition characterized by the abnormal development of the endometrium – the tissue that grows inside the uterus - meaning that the tissue grows outside the uterus. The growth may occur on the ovaries, on the fallopian tubes, in the bladder, the bowel, near the rectum and other related sites. In other cases, the endometrial growth expands in the abdomen and - less commonly - the lungs. It was also noticed in the abdominal surgical scars, arms, and thighs.
Symptoms that show a possible endometriosis are pelvic pain of significant intensity, painful periods and also painful urination during periods, pain during sexual activity and others.
The development of the endometrium outside the uterus makes the normal elimination of the menstrual blood impossible. As blood can't get out of the body, it will determine internal bleeding, inflammation, bowel problems, also infertility. Infertility is probably the most worrying complication associated with endometriosis, most frequent than the risk of ovarian cancer that is often associated with previous endometriosis.
Endometriosis was considered the same condition as adenomyosis until 1920, but today we treat them differently and we have a more accurate rate of evaluating the frequency of this condition.
Nowadays, medicine allows us to understand that early stages of endometriosis can also appear in the early 20s and even in young girls and teens with pelvic pain. Unfortunately, symptoms can be attributed to a painful period and the endometriosis can remain undiagnosed.
With the help of modern medicine, patients have more options of diagnosing endometriosis. Besides the classical pelvic exam and ultrasound testing, laparoscopy- a minor surgical intervention, helps us to determine the location and the extent of the growth. Depending on the gravity of the case, your doctor will decide the best treatment, either medication or surgery.