Although we can't cure endometriosis, there are many options for treating symptoms, with the goals of relieving pain, controlling the progression of the endometriosis and preserving fertility.
Marc Laufer, MD, chief of the Division of Gynecology at Boston Children's Hospital
A woman has endometriosis when the tissue that normally lines her uterus, the endometrium, grows in other places, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries or pelvic tissue. This misplaced tissue can cause serious pelvic pain or painful menstrual periods.
The Gynecology Program at Boston Children's Hospital offers expert care to girls and young women dealing with the symptoms of endometriosis.
- Endometriosis affects an estimated 5.5 million women in North America.
- When endometrium, the normal lining of the uterus, grows in other places, it continues its normal menstrual duties of thickening, breaking down and bleeding away each month. Since there is nowhere for this blood to go, it stays trapped in the body, and this can cause painful cysts and scar tissue.
- A research study done at Children's found that endometriosis was the most common diagnosis after surgery in teens with chronic pelvic pain.
- Without treatment, endometriosis can lead to infertility. Thirty to 40 percent of women with endometriosis are infertile.
- Adolescents can be treated so they so don't develop infertility.
How Boston Children's Hospital approaches endometriosis
The Center for Young Women's Health, part of the Gynecology Program at Children's, provides expert medical care, special health education programs and a wealth of information to young women who may be dealing with endometriosis. Pelvic pain and painful menstruation can be distressing for teens, and the Center provides counseling and special health education programs, including supervised online chats.