Endometriosis is caused by the growth of uterine lining tissue outside the uterus. It can cause severe pain and infertility. Learn more about the condition, its diagnosis and the different treatment options available.

Endometriosis remains poorly understood and therefore under-diagnosed. The range of different symptoms, the similarity they share with other disorders (painful periods and ovulation, fatigue), and sometimes the complete absence of symptoms all tend to make diagnosis difficult. It is thought that the delay between onset of symptoms and diagnosis is around five years, a period during which the condition has time to develop and cause damage to the organs concerned.

The following tests help to diagnose endometriosis:

  • pelvic exam;
  • ultrasound or MRI (but they may not identify tiny lesions from endometriosis);
  • laparoscopy: a surgical procedure were the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the abdomen to insert a laparoscope (a slender instrument with a light and camera) to confirm the diagnosis.


of women worldwide have endometriosis.

30 to 40%

of women with endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant and need IVF.

Last update 13/04/2017