Who can get endometriosis?

Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Endometriosis effects greater than 4.5 million women in the United States every year. It is one of the most common health problems of women and is mainly seen in a woman in her reproductive years. Endometriosis can happen in the early teens and as late as a woman in her late 40s. Endometriosis can be hereditary, and I have seen multiple families in which a mother and/or her daughters have endometriosis. It is also well known that endometriosis can get somewhat better once a patient becomes pregnant. The analogy that I always give to patients is that the endometrial implants that cause pain in the patient's abdomen are stimulated by estrogen, but when a patient is pregnant, there is so much estrogen in her body that the excess estrogen can cause the endometriosis to die off; and the analogy that I give is that this is similar to giving your plants to much fertilizer. If you give it too much fertilizer, it could kill off the plants. It is the same thing with pregnancy and endometriosis.

More than five million women in the United States have endometriosis. It is one of the most common health problems for women. It can occur in any teen or woman who has menstrual periods, but it is most common in women in their 30s and 40s.

The symptoms of endometriosis stop for a time during pregnancy. Symptoms also tend to decrease with menopause, when menstrual periods end for good. In some cases, women who take menopausal hormone therapy may still have symptoms of endometriosis.

This answer is based on source information from The National Women's Health Information Center.

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