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The Prevalence of Endometriosis in Adolescents with Pelvic Pain: A Systematic Review

      Abstract

      Study Objective

      Endometriosis is a recognized cause of pelvic pain in adolescents with menstrual symptoms that significantly affect education, activity, and social interactions. We aim to provide an updated systematic review of the prevalence of endometriosis in adolescents with pelvic pain presenting for gynecological investigation.

      Data Sources

      We searched Medline, Embase, and Cinahl from 2011 to July 2019.

      Methods of Study Selection

      We included cohort studies of adolescents with pelvic pain undergoing gynecological investigation. Two authors independently selected studies and extracted study characteristics and prevalence data. Methodological quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program for cohort studies.

      Results

      This updated systematic review evaluated a total of 19 studies including 1243 symptomatic adolescents. In all, 648 of 1011 (64%) adolescents undergoing laparoscopy were found to have endometriosis. The prevalence ranged from 25% to 100%, with a mean prevalence of 64%. Thirteen studies including 381 participants categorized disease severity using the revised American Society of Reproductive Medicine classification. Among these, 53% of participants (201/381) had stage I, 28% (105/381) had stage II, 20% (76/381) had stage III, and 13% (49/381) had stage IV disease.

      Conclusions

      The prevalence of endometriosis among adolescents with pelvic pain symptoms is high. Endometriosis is treatable, and prompt recognition will help to ensure that adolescents are signposted earlier to appropriate specialists. The management of adolescents with suspected endometriosis should be consistent with best practice guidance. Despite recommendations to increase the awareness and knowledge of endometriosis in adolescence, minimal research has followed.

      Key Words

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