Which women are at highest risk for endometriosis?

Updated: May 10, 2021
  • Author: G Willy Davila, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Answer

Most research and case studies have been performed in white populations; however, no difference appears to exist among ethnic or social groups. [37] Although endometriosis is obviously a disease largely confined to the female population, interestingly, scattered case reports exist of lesions that are histologically indistinguishable from endometriosis found in men exposed to high-dose exogenous estrogens.

Endometriosis is largely confined to women of reproductive age with an active hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Pelvic endometriosis typically occurs in women aged 25-30 years. Extrapelvic manifestations of this disorder occur in woman aged 35-40 years. Women younger than 20 years with this disease often have anomalies of the reproductive system. Prepubertal girls do not seem to be at risk for this disease, although the number of reports of endometriosis in young women shortly after menarche is increasing.

Menopause (whether spontaneous or induced through surgical or medical means) usually leads to resolution of symptoms. The disease seems to remain quiescent even in the face of hormone replacement therapy.


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