Endometriosis is a condition wherein endometrial tissue—the tissue found inside the uterus—grows outside the uterus, usually in the pelvic area such as on the fallopian tubes and ovaries. In rare cases, it can grow outside the pelvic area such as the lungs and diaphragm.

Some of the common symptoms of endometriosis include pelvic pain, heavy periods, pain during or after intercourse, fatigue, and infertility. Aside from these, some patients also experience symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome such as diarrhea, bloating, and pain during bowel movements. 

The symptoms, however, can vary from patient to patient. Some of them experience moderate to severe symptoms, while others only mild. 

According to Endometriosis.org, approximately one in every 10 women in their childbearing years are affected by endometriosis. [1] 

Despite this high prevalence rate, however, patients suffer for years before getting an accurate diagnosis. A research involving clinical centers in ten countries found that on average, it takes 6.7 years from the onset of symptoms before one is diagnosed with endometriosis. [2] 

A number of factors contribute to the delay in diagnosis. These include, among others, the patient’s fear of being embarrassed or ostracized. They might have also had difficulty determining whether or not what they are experiencing are no longer normal. The physician’s dependence on insufficient diagnostic procedures as well as considering the patient’s symptoms as normal also contribute to diagnostic delays. [3] 

At present, there is no cure for endometriosis. Patients can only manage their symptoms. 

Some of the treatment options available include pain medications, hormone therapy, and surgery. 

This month, help spread awareness about endometriosis by sharing information about this condition on social media. The more people know about it, the greater chances for sufferers getting a diagnosis earlier and receiving appropriate treatment. 

If you or anyone you know are affected by endometriosis,  we invite you to sign up to our Living with Chronic Pelvic Pain community


[1] Facts about endometriosis. Endometriosis.org. <http://endometriosis.org/resources/articles/facts-about-endometriosis/>

[2] Kelechi E Nnoaham, et. al. (2011) Impact of endometriosis on quality of life and work productivity: a multicenter study across ten countries. Fertility and Sterility. Aug;96(2):366-373.e8. <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21718982/> 

[3] Eric Surrey, et. al. (2020) Impact of Endometriosis Diagnostic Delays on Healthcare Resource Utilization and Costs. Adv Ther. 37(3): 1087–1099. Published online 2020 Jan 20. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7089728/>