Endometriosis: Everything You Need to Know About the Gynecological Condition

Medically Reviewed by Madeline Hubbard, RN, BSN

Photo Courtesy: People Images/E+/Getty Images

Endometriosis is a gynecological condition that affects approximately 11% of individuals between the ages of 15 to 44 in the United States. For these individuals, endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus onto other surrounding structures including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer surface of the uterus, pelvic floor, vagina, or cervix.

In someone who does not have endometriosis, endometrial tissue normally builds up within the uterine wall and is shed during menstruation, or one’s period. Because endometriosis leads to a buildup of this type of tissue outside of the uterus, it is not as easily shed and can instead become trapped within the abdomen. This causes pain that ranges in severity, and in some cases may interfere with the reproductive process.

The typical onset for endometriosis is several years after an individual’s first menstrual cycle. There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatment options that offer symptom relief and support reproductive function.