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YOUNG WOMEN AND ENDOMETRIOSIS

Most cases of endometriosis are diagnosed in women aged around 25 to 35 years, but endometriosis has been reported in girls as young as 11 years of age. We are diagnosing this disease right now in a younger age group of women. Twenty-five years ago, our diagnosis was mainly based on severe symptoms and palpable masses in the pelvic area, and was confirmed by laparotomy. Patients were typically in their mid or late 30s. However, with the use of laparoscopy, the typical age at which the diagnosis is being made has dropped significantly. Currently, it is somewhere in the mid to late 20s. We are expecting a further decline in the average age of diagnosis because of the added knowledge of the disease in younger women and also the availability and increased use of laparoscopy in confirming diagnosis.

Endometriosis is rare in postmenopausal women. Endometriosis is more commonly found in white women as compared with African American and Asian women. Studies further suggest that endometriosis is most common in taller, thin women with a low body mass index (BMI). Delaying pregnancy until an older age is also believed to increase the risk of developing endometriosis.