Women's Health By the Numbers: Endometriosis Statistics

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Endometriosis has been stated to be a "modern disease." It is a condition in which tissue from the lining of the uterus implants or sprouts and grows in the interior of the abdomen. It takes a surgery to make a firm diagnosis and tracking the disease is as difficult, as it takes a follow up surgery to figure out if it has been adequate treated. From being a rare condition in the early 1980s we now think there are 8.5 million women with endometriosis in the US today,  that means we have about 350,000 women in Illinois with the condition. Many women do not know they have the entity of endometriosis. The government does track some statistics for endometriosis. We know that non-hispanic white women are most at risk; and there is a genetic link as well. Women with red hair, women who are tall, women who have had melanoma are all more at risk for endometriosis. The most alarming statistic regarding endometriosis is that we are seeing more advanced cases. We do have some improvements in diagnosis so that could affect the numbers of cases we are seeing, but we think that the rate has dramatically changed since the 1980s. Advances in diagnosis and reporting do not explain the current epidemic rates of endometriosis. Greater awareness fails to explain documented increased rates of hysterectomies due to endometriosis, most notably in teenage girls. According to data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, and analysis by Dr. Gary Berger (Medical Director, Chapel Hill Fertility Center), hysterectomies for endometriosis increased 250% for young women between the ages of 15-24 and 186% between the ages of 25-34 during 1965 to 1984. So ask your gyno what you can do to protect yourself from endometriosis, and do what you can to keep your condition under control if you have been previously diagnosed. For those interested in endometriosis clinical research studies call 217-356-3736 and ask for the Women's Health Practice Clinical Research Division. 


  1. Post some preventive measures for endometriosis.
     Womens Health 

  2. A reader asks how to prevent endometriosis. Endometriosis prevention is possible but difficult. No one dietary strategy has been shown to protect against endometriosis, but we still recommend having a blanced diet. Excerise in some studies has been show to reduce endometriosis. But the most reliable way to prevent endometriosis is to prevent menstrual periods. We think one way that endometriosis progresses is to have the uterine lining implanting inside the abdomen. Patients who do not have menstrual periods will not have the implantation of the lining. Continuous use of birth control pills, without monthly breaks, so there is no bleeding, or use of DepoProvera or Implanon will all help to prevent endometriosis. Having children and breastfeeding also...prevents periods...and prevents endometriosis. For an individual woman she needs to discuss with her own gynecologist what she might be able to do to prevent endometriosis. For women wantin to participate in clinical research studies for endometriosis call 217-356-3736 if you live in Central Illinois.


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