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Classification of Endometriosis

Staging is a way of describing how mild or severe a condition is. The stage of the endometriosis is determined by looking at the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries and inside the abdomen and lower pelvic area. Usually, this is done with a viewing instrument inserted through a small incision in the belly (laparoscopy). But endometriosis is sometimes first found during surgery for an unrelated condition.

Endometriosis is classified in four stages:

Recommended Related to Endometriosis

Understanding Endometriosis -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Your doctor will ask you questions and do a pelvic exam. But your doctor won't know for sure that it's endometriosis until a surgeon can examine your body internally.  The most common procedure is called laparoscopy. During this surgery a thin, lighted tube is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision.  Women are usually unconscious when it's done. Many doctors remove a small piece of tissue and test it to confirm the diagnosis of endometriosis.

Read the Understanding Endometriosis -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

  • Stage I: minimal
  • Stage II: mild
  • Stage III: moderate
  • Stage IV: severe

The stage of the endometriosis is based on the:

  • Location of endometriosis growths (implants).
  • Number of places the implants are found.
  • Depth the implants penetrate into normal tissue.
  • Severity of the scar tissue (adhesions) around the implants.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised July 7, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 07, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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