Endometriosis in adolescents: a systematic review



The aim of this manuscript is to present a systematic review of characteristics and management of endometriosis in adolescents in order to gain some relevant insight into the most appropriate clinical management of the disease.


The literature review was done using electronic database PubMed focusing on the terms ‘adolescents’, ‘endometriosis’, ‘teenagers’, ‘pain’, ‘infertility’, ‘quality of life’, ‘medical’ and ‘surgical management’ from 1980 onward and was limited to articles in English. Articles were only included if they reported original relevant research.


The 24 studies selected for review included 1148 adolescents with laparoscopic proven endometriosis. The diagnosis of endometriosis was histologically confirmed in 39.02% (448/1148) of cases. The results from trials have been tabulated and main results presented in a question and answer format.


The majority of adolescent girls with chronic pelvic pain not responding to conventional medical therapy have endometriosis (up to 80%). Laparoscopy with biopsy is the only way to diagnose endometriosis in the adolescent population, and depends on recognition of atypical manifestations of the disease. Surgical management (especially by an expert surgeon) has been shown to be beneficial in reducing pain, improving infertility, and preventing progression or recurrence of disease. Postoperative hormonal suppression helps reduce pain symptoms and recurrence of endometriomas, but it does not seem to prevent disease recurrence or progression of peritoneal endometriosis, and has not been shown to improve future fertility. Postoperative suppression until pregnancy is based on expert opinion only. There is a need for good quality properly randomized trials.

J Endometr Pelvic Pain Disord 2017; 9(1): 17 - 29

Article Type: REVIEW



Patrick Yeung, Shweta Gupta, Sam Gieg

Article History


Financial support: No grants or funding have been received for this study.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has financial interest related to this study to disclose.

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  • Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri - USA

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