Endometriosis affects 176 million women worldwide, but plenty of women live with this painful condition for years before being diagnosed. Endometriosis is the growth of the uterine lining outside of the uterus, which bleeds during menstruation, causing internal scarring.
Symptoms can include pelvic pain, painful sex, painful urination, and painful bowel movements, and the condition is diagnosed using ultrasounds and MRIs. “I prefer MRIs to ultrasounds because ultrasounds are transvaginal, which is far more invasive,” says Kathy Huang, MD, director of the Endometriosis Center at NYU Langone and assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “In a pelvic MRI, nothing is going into your body.”
Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment can include medication or surgery if needed; endometriosis can also impact fertility, so women trying to conceive may need in vitro fertilization (IVF).
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