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  • In order to accurately diagnose endometriosis, physicians usually use the four-stage system developed by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine
  • It’s important to know that a particular stage of endometriosis is not reflective of a woman’s pain levels, infertility risks and/or present symptom/s
 

Stages of Endometriosis

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In order to accurately diagnose endometriosis, physicians usually use the four-stage system developed by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.1 What differentiates these stages apart are the types of wounds, scars or inflammation that may be noticed, as well as their severity:

1. Stage 1 or Minimal endometriosis: characterized by the presence of small lesions and shallow endometrial implants on your ovary. These implants are often isolated and do not show significant adhesions, or scar tissues that resemble fine or dense cobwebs.2,3

People with Stage 1 endometriosis also have inflammation on the organs in the pelvic cavity.4,5

2. Stage 2 or Mild endometriosis: patients with Stage 2 endometriosis typically have light lesions and shallow implants on an ovary and on the pelvic lining.6 These superficial implants are said to be less than 5 centimeters in total and lack significant adhesions.7

3. Stage 3 or Moderate endometriosis: this means that there are deep implants on your ovary and pelvic lining.8 At this stage, more lesions have been spotted, and there is already evidence of multiple implants and adhesions around the tubes and ovaries.9

Having yourself treated as soon as possible is important, especially if you plan on conceiving a child in the future, because scarring could eventually hinder the egg from entering the fallopian tube.10

3. Stage 4 or Severe endometriosis: the final stage of endometriosis, this signifies that deep implants on the pelvic lining and ovaries are already visible, and lesions on the fallopian tubes and bowels may materialize.11

Multiple implants that include adhesions and large ovarian endometriomas or ovarian cysts are visible.12

Stage 4 endometriosis can also result in blocked fallopian tubes and damaged ovaries. Women with this condition typically find it difficult to get pregnant and often require advanced fertility treatment.13

Apart from these hallmarks that set each of stage apart from each other, the location, amount, depth and size of the endometrial tissue play a role in determining the stage of an endometriosis case. Other specific criteria that affect a case’s classification include:14

Extent of the spread of the tissue

Involvement of pelvic structures in the disease

Extent of pelvic adhesions

Blockage of the fallopian tubes

It’s important to know that a particular stage of endometriosis is not reflective of a woman’s pain levels, infertility risks and/or present symptom/s. There are some cases wherein a woman who has Stage 1 endometriosis feels intense pain, but a woman with stage 4 endometriosis may be asymptomatic or not notice any endometriosis symptoms at all.15

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