The field of female reproductive health has come a long way in the past century. Practitioners have promoted safe sex, encouraged HPV vaccination and normalized discussion about periods. However, there are still too many unanswered questions about women’s reproductive organs and disorders.
We know a lot about endometriosis—still considered a “mysterious disorder” that impacts 1 in 4 women in the United States—but there’s so much more we don’t know. Most important, we have no cure-all or magic pill that can treat endometriosis, so millions of women continue to suffer daily.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that is typically found inside the lining of a woman’s uterus—the endometrium—grows outside of the uterus. It can cause extreme inflammation, pain and menstrual problems. Endometrial tissue can be also found outside the ovaries, fallopian tubes or intestines.
The trouble is that endometriosis can only officially be diagnosed by undergoing laparoscopic surgery, which allows doctors to officially find