What are the Stages of Endometriosis?

“Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women around the globe, causing many to suffer a life of pain and debilitation and sometimes infertility. It mostly affects women of childbearing age and usually disappears after menopause. Endometriosis is often a long-term condition, with no simple cure” [1], however, Vulva Doctors specialise in providing a number of conventional and cutting-edge treatment options to help ameliorate the situation

An Overview of the Endometriosis Stage System

There are four stages of endometriosis. These have been set up in order to measure the extent of the endometrial tissue growth in various parts of the body. Of note, this condition does not necessarily automatically progress from one stage to the next, and Vulva Consultants often see patients who have more severe endometriosis than others. However, regardless of what stage you are in, it is essential to address the life-altering symptoms as soon as possible [2].

So What Are the Four Different Types of Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is grouped according to the area of the pelvis or abdomen it impacts. This comprises:
•Type 1 Superficial Peritoneal Endometriosis: the peritoneum can be described as a fine membrane which lines the pelvis and abdomen. It also covers the majority of organs within these cavities. In this type 1, the endometrial tissue attaches to the peritoneum. This is the least severe form of endometriosis
•Type 2 Endometriomas: these refer to fluid-filled, dark cysts. They can be found in various sizes, and can appear in different regions of the abdomen or pelvis (although they are most commonly seen in the ovaries)
•Type 3 Deeply Infiltrating Endometriosis (DIE): in this case, the endometrial tissue has infiltrated the organs either on the inside or outside, of the pelvic cavity. This can include the bowel, bladder, rectum, and ovaries. On rare occasions, Vulva Doctors discover: “a lot of scar tissue can bond organs so they become stuck in place. This condition is called frozen pelvis. But this only happens to 1%-5% of people with endometriosis” [3]
•Type No 4 Abdominal Wall Endometriosis: Pain Consultants sometimes see patients who have endometrial tissue growth on their abdominal wall. This can be brought about by a previous surgical incision, such as a C-section [3]

Is it Dangerous if I Don’t Have Treatment For My Endometriosis?

“Untreated endometriosis can be painful, affect a person’s quality of life, and may increase the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. One of the main risks of untreated endometriosis is worsening chronic pain. This pain can be debilitating, and may not respond to typical pain relief strategies such as medication, rest, and heat” [4]

Moreover, endometriosis is thought to be linked to chronic inflammation, the latter of which is a known risk factor for numerous serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer. And on top of this, long-term untreated endometriosis can damage the body’s organs. Furthermore, when endometriosis tissue sticks to abdominal structures, a number of health complications can arise [4].

Booking an Online or In-Person Appointment With a Vulva Doctor

Many people are completely unaware that they have endometriosis. (Endometriosis can occur in any woman or girl who has periods. It is however, more common in those in their 30s and 40s).
Contact a Vulva Consultant if you notice any of the following symptoms:
• Not being able to become, or stay pregnant
• Painful, heavy periods
• Large blood clots from periods
• Digestive issues or abdominal pain [4]


[1]. University of Oxford (2024). “What is Endometriosis?”

[2]. Center of Endometrioisis (2024). “The Four Stages of Endometriosis Explained.”

[3]. WebMD (2023). “Endometriosis.”

[4]. Villines, Z. (2022). “What are the risks of untreated endometriosis?” Medical News Today.