When I was studying medicine in the late 1980s, almost all women who complained of pelvic pain were given a general diagnosis of some kind of infection, such as a sexually transmitted disease. Something told me this was very wrong. As I gained more experience as a surgeon, I felt comfortable exploring the issue on my own, and what I discovered shocked me. Many of these patients had lesions that didn’t indicate an infection at all—rather it was endometriosis, a condition in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus, causing pain.
From then on, I made it my mission to help women get a proper diagnosis and treatment—and I’ve spent the past 25 years dedicated exclusively to endometriosis. While progress has been made, endometriosis is still grossly misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Considering the fact that it affects as many as 15 percent of all women, it’s crucial to shed light on this disease.
Here are 5 things you probably don’t know about endometriosis: