Endometriosis can be a painful, chronic disease that results when the tissue that is normally inside the uterus (endometrial tissue) grows outside of the uterine cavity. Although it is estimated to affect over one million women in the U.S., the exact number is unknown, since many women with the condition have no symptoms.
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The symptoms of endometriosis vary from woman to woman, and some women may not experience symptoms at all.
The only way to definitively diagnose endometriosis is with a biopsy. This is usually done during a type of surgery called a laparoscopy. During the procedure, the doctor uses a small telescope-like tube called a laparoscope to look for signs of endometriosis on the outside of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
How do you know if you have endometriosis? Dr. Grace Janik of Reproductive Specialty Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin explains what is endometriosis to help women better understand the signs and symptoms.