Minute to Understanding: What is endometriosis?


What is Endometriosis?

Learn all about endometriosis in this Minute to Understanding from the Jackson Laboratory.

Endometriosis is a fairly common gynecological condition that affects two million people with uteruses worldwide. So what is this condition, exactly, and what can be done about it?

What is endometriosis? During a normal menstrual cycle, the inner lighting of the uterus, called the endometrium, thickens and then sheds if no egg is fertilized. Endometriosis is a disorder where the endometrium is found growing on the outside of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or intestines. This can cause debilitating pain, damaging inflammation, and in some cases, infertility.

Endometriosis is a widespread condition, affecting 200 million people with uteruses worldwide. Treatments, such as hormonal birth control and surgery can help reduce symptom, but there is no cure yet. Scientists are still studying endometriosis. More investigation is needed, but research is underfunded. Due to this, patient led advocacy groups are spreading awareness. They are working towards a future with less stigma and more hope for those with endometriosis.

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