1. Your cycle
  2. Puberty
  3. Teenage life

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Endometriosis in Teens? Yes, It's Real!

Historically, clinicians have assumed because there was so little evidence out there, that if you are a teenager with really bad period pains, for example, or pains when you start having sex, that cannot be due to endometriosis. Now we know that is not true. 

When teenagers start having periods, they may have something called primary dysmenorrhea, which is first onset period pain that that can go away and is not related to endometriosis or other conditions at all. So again, there is potential for confusion here. 

If you have really excessive pain as a teenager with your periods, that should be looked at, and it shouldn't be considered normal, but the chances that it is due to endometriosis are relatively small. 

One of the things that clinicians rightly do not want to do is immediately start surgical interventions in young teenagers. Whenever you have a surgery, it is not without potential complications. Laparoscopy is done under a general anesthetic, but also every time you do surgery, there is a healing process associated with that; it can cause adhesions, an so on.  It is not something that you undertake lightly. 

What many treating physicians prefer to do is first see whether hormones help. And the obvious answer here is to first try oral contraceptives. For many teenagers these work. 

But if teenagers have persistent problems, or these contraceptives do not work, or they don't agree with them, I think it is really important to highlight this to your physician again and say, “Well, look, this is not for me. It does not work for me. What are the other options?”

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