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What Is Endometriosis?

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the inner lining of the uterus, also known as the endometrium, is found outside its normal location, where the tissue should not be. This may result in inflammation, as the tissue even outside the uterus will respond to the monthly fluctuations of the menstrual cycle.

The disease affects 1 in 10 reproductive-aged individuals (aged 12-52) - an estimated 200 million women worldwide - and many often experience a decade-long delay in diagnosis. Currently, there is no known exact cause of endometriosis, and there is no cure. 

Where can endometriosis be found?

Generally, endometriosis is found in the pelvic cavity. It can attach to any of the female reproductive organs including, but not limited to, the outside of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterosacral ligaments, peritoneum, and any of the spaces between the bladder, uterus, and vagina. Endometriosis can also involve other areas including the large and small bowel, appendix, diaphragm, lungs, and rectum.

Who is affected by endometriosis?

Endometriosis affects people mostly in their reproductive years and can even affect adolescents who have just started to have their periods.

The disease can impact all aspects of life—school, career, finances, relationships, and overall well-being. The symptoms may be so severe that individuals miss out on school, work, sports, or social events.

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