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Endometriosis is a condition that affects about 26 million women in India¹. It is more common (20-50%) in women who are infertile¹; when diagnosed by laparoscopy, approx. 34-48% of Indian women suffer from endometriosis.¹ Despite so much common suffering, it is one of the most neglected and undiagnosed conditions in India. Since it is a condition linked to the menstrual cycle, most women neglect and avoid sharing their issues at the right earnest (stigma associated with women’s sexual and reproductive health in India).
Endometrium is the tissue of the ‘inner lining of the uterus.’ When it grows outside the uterus - on the organs in the pelvic region (e.g., ovaries, surface of uterus, fallopian tubes, pelvis, bowels etc.) the condition is known as endometriosis. Since, the implants (the grown tissue) are originally from the uterus, they react to the normal hormonal changes during periods. Hence, they thicken, break and bleed with every menstrual cycle but, unlike normal endometrial tissue, are not removed from the body. They are trapped inside the pelvic region and cause inflammation. If not treated, this trapped tissue can cause severe symptoms like pain in the pelvic region during menstruation, painful bowel movements, lower back pain etc. It can also cause infertility and cysts.