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WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America
WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America

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Endometriosis

Description: Endometriosis is a disease in which the uterus' lining migrates outside the uterus. Endometriosis may occur anywhere in the body, even in the brain, but the more common sites are the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, vagina, abdominal cavity, and colon. The disease can be painful before and during menstruation, and can lead to infertility.

Symptoms: Pain occurs at the time of menstruation, and also possibly at other times of the month. A sharp pain during ovulation may be due to an endometrial cyst located in the fallopian tube that ruptures as the egg passes through. Endometriosis can also cause pain during sexual activity.

Number of Americans diagnosed: 5.5 million women and girls in the USA and Canada.

Long-term problems/treatments: Without treatment, endometriosis gets progressively worse. Cysts and implants may grow and spread to other parts of the pelvis, and in severe cases, to the urinary or intestinal tracts. Eventually adhesions may form -- rigid, web-like structures of scar tissue that can attach to nearby organs and cause pain, infertility, and intestinal obstruction.
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Resources

Endometriosis.org

The Endometriosis Association


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