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Teenagers and Endo

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Endometriosis can affect any menstruating woman, from her first period to her last. You are never "too young" to have endo.

Teenagers with endo need a special kind of support. It is extremely hard to fight this disease while coping with adolescence, school, exams, boyfriends and family. A teenager with endo will need a lot of help from her family.

How do I know if I have endo?
If you have painful periods, pain with sex, pain when you use tampons, or pain when you use the toilet it is possible that you have endo - especially if the pain is bad enough that you miss school or work, that you have to stay in bed, and is not helped by regular over the counter medications like paracetamol.

What will happen?
In the first instance you doctor may want you to go on the pill. This can help to regulate and lighten your periods, and also helps to make the endo shrink, or at least stay static. Your doctor may refer you to a gyn, who may want to operate. The operation, called a laparoscopy, will involve using a tiny camera, inserted through your navel, to look for endo deposits. It is important not to allow your doctor to brush you aside. GPs will try milder ways to manage your pain first, and if they don't work you must go back. Your doctor will not know how bad things are if you don't tell him!

Doesn't endo make you infertile?
Not always. 60 - 70% of women have no problem at all with their fertility. The earlier endo is diagnosed and the better it is managed, the more chances there are of having unaffected fertility.

Is having a baby a cure?
No. While it is often recommended to have a family early, pregnancy is not a cure, nor should you rush into starting a family. Far better to manage your endo to maintain your fertility until you feel ready to have a baby! 

Is having a hysterectomy a cure?
No. Unhappily, there is no cure, but there are ways to manage your symptoms.

Is it cancer?
No.

Is it a sexually transmitted disease?
No. 

Teenage Endometriosis email support network

The EA Family Membership

The EA (Australia) Teen Page

The Endo foundation (NZ) Adolescent Education

Endo Information for Teens

Center for Young Women's Health

These links are provided for information purposes only, and should not replace advice given by your doctor. I hope you find them useful.