What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis affects up to 15% of menstruating women between the ages of 24 to 40 years, where symptoms may appear as early as the onset of menstruation. About 21% of women with infertility have a diagnosis of endometriosis. The primary risk factor for developing this condition is genetic where a woman with a first-degree family member is about six times as likely compared to women with relatives without the disease.
Women with monthly cycles that are shorter (less days between the end of one period and the beginning of another) and a longer flow are at a larger risk for endometriosis. Additionally, altered estrogen levels, high fat diets, lack of exercise, use of interuterine devices may also influence risk of developing this condition.
Symptoms of endometriosis:
- About 25-30% of women are asymptomatic
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
- Dyspareunia (pain with sex)
- Ovarian cysts
- Pain with bowel movements, urination
- Spotting premenstrually
- Heavy menstrual flow