My Daughter Has Endometriosis. Now What?

My Daughter Has Endometriosis. Now What?

Research tells us that at least 10% of women in America have endometriosis. Unfortunately, a new study reveals this degenerative condition is more common than previously believed, showing over 60% of teen girls with pelvic pain have endometriosis.  

When you have endometriosis, the lining of your uterus (the endometrium) doesn’t grow where it should. Instead, it grows outside the uterus, which causes unpleasant symptoms, including:

Since endometriosis gets worse each month, over time, the scar tissue it causes can lead to infertility. While both mature women and teen girls can have endometriosis, teens and young women have special considerations because their bodies aren’t fully developed. 

Fortunately, teen health specialist Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC and the team at Alpenglow Gynecology, offer specialized help managing endometriosis for girls in Littleton, Colorado. Here’s what you need to know about endometriosis in teens and how you can help your daughter best manage this gynecological condition.  

Understanding endometriosis in teens

Many women don’t realize they have endometriosis until they run into fertility issues when trying to start their family. Researchers are finding these same women often report that they started having symptoms of endometriosis when they were teens, but didn’t know it.  

This primarily happens for two reasons: (1) Teen girls are still acclimating to relatively new menstrual cycles, so it’s difficult to know what’s normal and what’s not; and (2) teens aren’t usually trying to get pregnant, and infertility is one of the hallmark signs of endometriosis. 

In addition, knowing the risk factors that increase your daughter’s chances of developing endometriosis can help you spot it early, making treatment more effective. These include:

Be sure to schedule an appointment if your daughter has significant period pain (e.g., cramps or discomfort that stops her from going to school or other activities) or if she has any of the above risk factors.  

Helping your daughter manage her endometriosis

The sooner your daughter starts treatment for her endometriosis, the easier it will be to manage the frustrating symptoms of this condition. Even more importantly, early treatment and management can help preserve your daughter’s future fertility

Keep in mind that no cure exists for endometriosis. Instead of a cure, Rickie works with you and your teen to create a personalized endometriosis treatment plan designed to manage symptoms and help your daughter maintain her health. 

If over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines aren’t helping, Rickie may suggest trying prescription medications to help with the pain, ease cramping, and reduce blood clots. 

Many young girls also have success managing endometriosis using hormonal birth control (e.g., the pill; an IUD; the shot). This prevents ovulation, slowing the progress of endometriosis and stopping the development of adhesions or scar tissue, which are believed to trigger pain and infertility. 

Depending on your daughter’s needs and her current symptoms, Rickie may also suggest additional treatments, including laparoscopic surgery to remove adhesions, physical or occupational therapy to cope with pain, and psychotherapy or stress management techniques. 

Have more questions about how to help your daughter cope with endometriosis? Schedule an appointment online or over the phone with Rickie at Alpenglow Gynecology. 

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