Studies have shown that an estimated 20-40% of women will experience a recurrence of endometriosis symptoms within five years of surgery. Learning that your endometriosis is returning can be physically and mentally hard to cope with, so we are here to help you make the best, most educated choices about your body.
Symptoms of endometriosis recurrence are generally a resurgence of pelvic pain, painful sex, or continuing infertility. During this time, endometriosis lesions return after previously being removed, or continue growing because they were not fully removed during the initial surgery. Vaginal bleeding and lower back pain may be indicators that endo is returning as well.
Younger women who have undergone more conservative surgery, had large cysts at the time of surgery, have never been pregnant before, and had more intense pain before surgery are more likely to see a resurgence of symptoms. Minor surgeries typically have an increased chance of returning endo symptoms, especially if lesions have not been completely removed.
Prevention and Treatment
If women see endometriosis symptoms returning, it is usually between 2-5 years of their surgery. It is important to make healthy lifestyle choices after surgery to reduce the chance of developing the condition again. Some experts recommend taking hormonal contraceptives after surgery, as some studies have shown it reduces the likelihood of resurgence. Hormone therapy can help you manage your symptoms and face less pain as well.
If you suspect that your endometriosis is returning, it may be best to consult your doctor about what the next steps are. Oftentimes, transvaginal ultrasounds can detect endometriosis recurrence by identifying lesions, allowing you to create a better treatment plan.