CHICAGO (WLS) -- March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, and many women go undiagnosed.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which the inner lining of the uterus migrates to areas within the abdominal cavity.
Dr. Serdar Bulun, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, joined ABC7 Eyewitness News at 7 p.m. to talk about new research underway in Chicago. He was joined by Adaeze Teme, who has endometriosis.
"The pain is almost sickening, almost primal," Teme said. "The best way to feel any kind of comfort is to just fall onto the floor in a fetal position."
Teme said her endometriosis symptoms also included severe bloating, back pain, knee pain, nausea and vomiting. She said the extreme pain has even caused her to faint.
Bulun discussed the impact of endometriosis and why the clinical approach to diagnosis and treatment is still being debated. He shared the story of a patient who had undergone multiple hysterectomies and other surgeries and was still experiencing endometriosis.
"We were able to discover that she has an enzyme that's making estrogen locally and aggravating these tissues, and we were able to treat her with aromatase inhibitors," Bulun said. He said that experience is guiding his current research.
Women who experience painful periods month after month should reach out to a doctor who is familiar with diagnosing and treating endometriosis, Bulun said.
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