Executive Summary

Endometriosis is a common health problem for women. An estimated 11% of U.S. women have the gynecologic disorder, which happens when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus.

  • In women with endometriosis, when the endometrial tissue enters the abdominal cavity, it attaches to organs in the abdominal and pelvic cavities, such as the ovaries, the intestines, or other organs or tissues. This tissue continues to follow the monthly menstrual cycle, and the resulting bleeding can cause inflammation, scarring, and pain.
  • Researchers have identified patterns of genetic activity that may be used to diagnose endometriosis and its severity, which possibly offers an alternative to diagnostic surgery through a simple noninvasive procedure.