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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Endometriosis (in-doh-me-tree-OH-sis) is a disease in which uterine tissue is found outside the uterus. This tissue can be found on the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, the bladder, and the bowel. It generally affects menstruating women of any age. While the exact connection of endometriosis and fertility isn't known, this disease can hinder conception. Early detection can help prevent future infertility, so talk to your doctor if you experience painful menstrual cramps, an extremely heavy menstrual flow, diarrhea, painful bowel movements, or painful sexual intercourse. These can be symptoms of endometriosis, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these. Also, tell your doctor if endometriosis is found in any of your family members, since this disease runs in families. Sometimes there aren't any symptoms, but your doctor can still diagnose your problem with a laparoscopy (lah-puh-RAW-skuh-pee).

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