New Endometriosis Teen Toolkit Encourages Teens to Understand Chronic Pelvic Pain



Many girls have irregular menstrual cycles and experience unusual pains during the first two years of their period before their period symptoms become more regular (often menstruating every 4–5 weeks). But how do you know when your period pain is normal and when it is not?  

If your periods are so painful that you are missing school and social events, or your pain medication isn’t working well, it is important to talk to a trusted adult or your health care provider about your experience. 

The Society for Women’s Health Research’s (SWHR) latest toolkit, Endometriosis Toolkit: A Guide For Teens, was developed to empower teenagers who have menstrual health questions or are living with endometriosis to better understand their health and navigate their care. 

Understanding Your Symptoms 

The toolkit builds on the clinical understanding that one potential cause for frequent and severe pain during and between periods is endometriosis. Two out of three people diagnosed with endometriosis report that they experienced symptoms as an adolescent. Identifying and treating endometriosis earlier in life can help improve long-term health and well-being.  

Are you experiencing these symptoms?  

  • Painful periods 
  • Pelvic or lower back pain between periods 
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination 
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding 

A recurrence of these symptoms may mean you have endometriosis. Consider keeping a period diary and tracking your pain symptoms. The Endometriosis Toolkit For Teens includes recommended questions for your doctor and a Health Visit Worksheet that you can use to track your health journey over time. Take your symptom list to a trusted adult or care provider and start a conversation. You can ask:  

  • How can I know if what I am experiencing is endometriosis?  
  • What are the different treatment options available for someone with endometriosis at my age? 
  • What are things I need to consider about my endometriosis as I get older? 

Building A Support System 

Genetics can impact your risk for developing endometriosis. It’s important to know the medical history of female relatives on both sides of your family. Talk to your mother, sisters, cousins, aunts, or grandmothers about their gynecologic health, and how they can support your health too. The Endometriosis Toolkit For Teens includes conversation tips for your family members, such as:  

  • At what age did your family member’s periods start? 
  • Does your family member experience frequent pelvic pain and/or irregular periods? 
  • Has anyone in the family been diagnosed with endometriosis or uterine fibroids? 

While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are many options to help manage your symptoms and address your pain. The Endometriosis Toolkit For Teens and the SWHR Endometriosis Toolkit: A Patient Empowerment Guide both explore some of these options. Not all types of treatment will work well for everyone, so be patient with yourself while you discover a regimen that works well for you. 

Always remember, you do not have to manage your endometriosis alone. 

Steps like tracking your symptoms, talking with experts you trust, and learning about your treatment options can help you get the care and support you need. 

 

The SWHR Endometriosis Program is supported by an educational sponsorship from Sumitomo Pharma. SWHR maintains independence and editorial control over program development, content, and work products. 

Many girls have irregular menstrual cycles and experience unusual pains during the first two years of their period before their period symptoms become more regular (often menstruating every 4–5 weeks). But how do you know when your period pain is normal and when it is not?  

If your periods are so painful that you are missing school and social events, or your pain medication isn’t working well, it is important to talk to a trusted adult or your health care provider about your experience. 

The Society for Women’s Health Research’s (SWHR) latest toolkit, Endometriosis Toolkit: A Guide For Teens, was developed to empower teenagers who have menstrual health questions or are living with endometriosis to better understand their health and navigate their care. 

Understanding Your Symptoms 

The toolkit builds on the clinical understanding that one potential cause for frequent and severe pain during and between periods is endometriosis. Two out of three people diagnosed with endometriosis report that they experienced symptoms as an adolescent. Identifying and treating endometriosis earlier in life can help improve long-term health and well-being.  

Are you experiencing these symptoms?  

  • Painful periods 
  • Pelvic or lower back pain between periods 
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination 
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding 

A recurrence of these symptoms may mean you have endometriosis. Consider keeping a period diary and tracking your pain symptoms. The Endometriosis Toolkit For Teens includes recommended questions for your doctor and a Health Visit Worksheet that you can use to track your health journey over time. Take your symptom list to a trusted adult or care provider and start a conversation. You can ask:  

  • How can I know if what I am experiencing is endometriosis?  
  • What are the different treatment options available for someone with endometriosis at my age? 
  • What are things I need to consider about my endometriosis as I get older? 

Building A Support System 

Genetics can impact your risk for developing endometriosis. It’s important to know the medical history of female relatives on both sides of your family. Talk to your mother, sisters, cousins, aunts, or grandmothers about their gynecologic health, and how they can support your health too. The Endometriosis Toolkit For Teens includes conversation tips for your family members, such as:  

  • At what age did your family member’s periods start? 
  • Does your family member experience frequent pelvic pain and/or irregular periods? 
  • Has anyone in the family been diagnosed with endometriosis or uterine fibroids? 

While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are many options to help manage your symptoms and address your pain. The Endometriosis Toolkit For Teens and the SWHR Endometriosis Toolkit: A Patient Empowerment Guide both explore some of these options. Not all types of treatment will work well for everyone, so be patient with yourself while you discover a regimen that works well for you. 

Always remember, you do not have to manage your endometriosis alone. 

Steps like tracking your symptoms, talking with experts you trust, and learning about your treatment options can help you get the care and support you need. 

 

The SWHR Endometriosis Program is supported by an educational sponsorship from Sumitomo Pharma. SWHR maintains independence and editorial control over program development, content, and work products.