The following information was created to help you as a parent or guardian, learn about endometriosis. As you become familiar with the symptoms and treatment options that accompany endometriosis, you will be able to help support your daughter as she seeks medical treatment.
The most useful thing you can do to understand your daughter's diagnosis is to learn all you can about endometriosis. There is certainly a lot of information on line; however, if you do an Internet search for endometriosis information, make sure the information comes from a reliable source. For helpful tips for evaluating endometriosis websites, books, and magazine articles check our website guide: Evaluating Health Information. Your daughter's health care provider is also another resource for educational materials. Be sure to maintain a list of questions for your daughter's medical treatment team. The doctors, nurses and social workers will assist you and your daughter in understanding her diagnosis and the treatment options.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found outside its normal location. Common locations of endometrial implants include the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments that support the uterus and tissue covering the bladder and rectum. The location of the endometrial implants and the way in which the lesions affect the pelvic organs contribute to the symptoms adolescent and adult women may have. Some teens have a lot of endometriosis and have very little pain, while others who have a small amount of endometriosis have severe pain.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Endometriosis causes different symptoms in young women. Occasional or constant pelvic pain and/or severe period cramps are definitely the most common symptoms. There can be pain before, during, or after a period. The pain may occur at regular times in the menstrual cycle or the pain may occur at any time during the month. It is often referred to as "chronic" pelvic pain. Some teens may have pain with exercise, and/or after a pelvic exam. For those who are sexually active, there may be pain associated with intercourse. Painful or frequent urination, diarrhea or constipation may accompany the pelvic pain.