What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful reproductive and immunological disease in which tissue similar to that which lines the uterus migrates and implants in other areas of the body. Affecting more than 5.5 million women and girls in the United States alone with over 70 million more worldwide, the illness continues to be stigmatized simply as "killer cramps." A leading cause of female infertility, chronic pelvic pain and gynecologic surgery, Endometriosis accounts for more than half of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed in the U.S. annually.
Symptoms include pelvic pain, infertility, pain with intercourse, gastrointestinal difficulties, fatigue, allergies, and immune system dysfunction. Researchers remain unsure as to the definitive cause of endometriosis, which can only be diagnosed through surgery, though current studies indicate that gene dysregulation, immune system dysfunction, and exposure to environmental toxicants may be contributing factors. There is no absolute cure for Endometriosis, and recent research has even shown an elevated risk of certain cancers and autoimmune disorders in those with endometriosis, as well as malignant changes within the disease itself.