Who gets Endometriosis?

About 1 in 10 women of childbearing age have some degree of endometriosis. Symptoms typically begin between the ages of 25-40 but it can affect woman of any age. It is a myth that teenagers do not get endometriosis. Some research shows that up to ²/3rds of women with endometriosis had symptoms in their teenage years.

Adolescent girls with symptoms should be taken very seriously, whilst recognising that not all menstrual pain symptoms are necessarily endometriosis

However:

  • Sometimes it runs in families. Therefore, endometriosis is more common in close blood relatives of affected women.
  • Endometriosis is rare in women past the menopause as to develop endometriosis you need oestrogen, the female hormone. Oestrogen levels fall after the menopause.
  • The oral contraceptive pill ('the pill') reduces the risk of developing endometriosis. This protective effect may persist for up to a year after stopping 'the pill'.

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