Objective: To review the incidence and diagnosis of endometriosis in adolescents and to evaluate the surgical and medical treatment options for this special population.
Study design: Literature research.
Results: Endometriosis is the most common cause of chronic pelvic pain in adolescents, affecting up to 70% of girls with chronic pelvic pain unresponsive to medical management. There may be a natural progression of endometriosis from atypical lesions in adolescents to classic lesions in adults.
Conclusion: Endometriosis should be strongly suspected in adolescent girls with chronic pelvic pain unresponsive to oral contraceptives and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Initial management of endometriosis involves surgical resection or destruction at the time of diagnosis followed by medical management with continuous oral contraceptives. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists should be considered for adolescents over 16 years of age who have completed pubertal maturation.