What is endometriosis?

Dr. Jodi TuranoDr. Jodi Turano

From celebrities to your next door neighbor, more than five million women in the United States have been diagnosed with endometriosis.

This common health problem occurs when tissue that lines the uterus or womb grows outside of the uterus on other organs or structures in the body.

You might be more likely to get endometriosis if you have:

  • Never had children
  • Menstrual periods that last more than seven days
  • Short menstrual cycles (27 days or less)
  • A family member (mother, aunt, sister) with endometriosis
  • A health problem that prevents normal passage of menstrual blood flow
  • Damage to cells in the pelvis from an infection

Endometriosis can be painful and can interfere with your life. Many treatments can control the symptoms, from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to oral contraceptives to surgical options that increase fertility. Medicine can relieve your pain. When endometriosis causes fertility problems, surgery can boost your chances of getting pregnant.