EILEEN CIPRIANI Times Leader Correspondent
It is among the top three causes of infertility and pelvic pain in women. There is a research center and a foundation in the United States, as well as an international society and yellow ribbon devoted to the disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services more than 5 million women in America alone have been diagnosed. Oscar Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon and “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi are among them. In March at the 3rd annual Blossom Ball fundraiser for research in New York, Sarandon and Lakshmi shared their first-hand experiences with the malady -- endometriosis.
Endometriosis is when endometrial cells that normally line the interior of the uterus relocate in other areas of the body. The cells usually become displaced in the pelvic area, but in extremely rare cases they can be found in other parts of the body, says Dr. Jennifer Sue Gell of Geisinger Health System’s Women’s Health Center. Gell is obstetrics-gynecology certified with a practicing specialty in reproductive endocrinology and fertility.
In endometriosis the displaced tissues acts as it normally would during the menstrual cycle. It thickens and bleeds, but because it is unable to exit the body it irritates surrounding tissue causing pain and eventually develops scar tissue and adhesions.
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