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Stages of Endometriosis - Topic Overview

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:

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Understanding Endometriosis -- the Basics

Endometriosis is a common condition in women. It's chronic, painful, and often gets steadily worse. Normally, the tissue that lines a woman's uterus, known as the endometrium, is found only in the uterus. But when a woman develops endometriosis, microscopic bits of this tissue escape from the uterus and grow on other organs such as the ovaries, the outer wall of the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the ligaments that support the uterus, the space between the uterus and the rectum, and the space...

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  • 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    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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