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 200 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 tissue resembling the endometrium grows outside the uterus — on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines or other pelvic organs, and can be found throughout the body. More than just a gynecological disease, endometriosis is a systemic condition. It can cause debilitating pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, damaging inflammation and 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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