Endometriosis stages are classified based on the severity of the symptoms as well as spread of the disease. The symptoms vary from one person to the other. Additionally, sometimes the symptoms are severe but the condition may still be mild. At the same time, the symptoms can barely be there and yet the condition can be in an advanced stage.
The symptoms may then not necessarily correlate directly to the severity of the condition. Being a progressive condition, the Endometriosis stages can become worse as time progresses. It can spread to the reproductive organs as well as others in the same area such as kidneys, bladder, bowels and lower back.
There are 4 Endometriosis stages as classified by the revised American Fertility Society based on how much Endometriosis and adhesion’s are present. Depending on these findings points are awarded ranging from 1 to above 40.
Stages – Points
Stage I – Minimal 1-5
Stage II – Mild 6-15
Stage III – Moderate 16-40
Stage IV – Severe Over 40
Stage I is called the minimal stage. In the Endometriosis stages chart, you will score between 1 and 5 points. This means that the cases of endometrial tissue growth found outside of the uterus are few and isolated.
Stage II is said to be mild. Here you will score between 6 and 15 points in the Endometriosis stages chart. The diagnosis is based on the discovery of small adhesions and areas of scar tissue as well as a number of small implants.
Stage III is called the moderate stage and here you would score between 16 and 40 points on the Endometriosis stages chart. The implants found must be superficial as well as deep to classify in this stage. There should also be areas of scare tissue and adhesions that stand out prominently. Endometriosis symptoms begin to show commonly when your are in stage 3.
Stage IV is the most severe of the Endometriosis stages. Here you would have scored over 40 points and would have many deep and superficial implants. Stage 4 Endometriosis also have large adhesions. The symptoms may also include infertility, however this does not affect everyone with Stage 4 Endometriosis.
To confirm your diagnosis and to find which of the Endometriosis stages you fall into the doctor will usually perform a pelvic exam. At this time the doctor will look for thickening of pelvic organs, tenderness and the growth of nodules on the ovaries and uterus. Because the symptoms you experience with Endometriosis can also be found with other disorders comprehensive tests will have to be done.
A certain test that checks for the elevation of CA-125 in the blood will have the doctor on the right path. Endometriosis stages cannot be diagnosed using x-rays and blood tests.
The best diagnosis method for Endometriosis stages is a laparoscopy which is performed as an outpatient procedure. The doctor will be looking for implants that are blue, red or purple in color and smaller than quarter of an inch.
They will also be looking for adhesions and scar tissue that may be found on the reproductive organs including the ovaries. A small piece of this tissue will be taken out and biopsied to confirm the diagnosis of Endometriosis.
If you think that you have this condition, it is important that you visit your doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis.