Endometriosis has Different Stages…Really?
Endometriosis is categorized into four (4) different stages based on the level of severity of the disease – the location, amount, and size of the endometrial implants. Specific criteria include:
- The extent of the spread of the implants
- The involvement of pelvic structures in the disease
- The extent of pelvic adhesions
- The blockage of fallopian tubes
But what does this really mean for women who suffer from Endometriosis?
Stage I – Minimal
At this first stage of endometriosis the implants have not spread to many female organs. The implants may attach themselves to the narrow spaces between organs.
Stage II – Mild
The number of implants increases slightly and more organs are affected i.e. more adhesions and scar tissue form on the female organs.
Stage III – Moderate
The number of implants increases and covers more organs. By this time both ovaries are likely to be covered and the implants may now affect the fallopian tubes and even the rectum, vagina and cervix.
Stage IV – Severe
The implants will have spread to just about every organ in the pelvic cavity. More implants mean more scar tissue, larger adhesions and perhaps more pain.
It’s important to note that the stage of the endometriosis does not necessarily reflect the level of pain experienced, risk of infertility or symptoms present.
If you have been diagnosed with Endometriosis and you weren’t told what stage you have, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. Knowing what stage you are is helpful when discussing treatment options with your health care professional. You have a right to know.