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How Common Is Endometriosis?

The actual number of women who have endometriosis is not known because many women do not have symptoms. The formal diagnosis of endometriosis can be made only after a laparoscopic exam. Regardless of whether pain or infertility is the major problem, many women with endometriosis are never diagnosed. This is because their symptoms are not severe enough to require laparoscopy.

  • Among all women, it is estimated that 6 to 10 out of 100 have endometriosis.1
  • Endometriosis is seen in about 50 out of every 100 teenagers who have menstrual periods that are painful enough to be evaluated with laparoscopy.2
  • Endometriosis is seen in 20 to 40 out of every 100 teen girls who have pelvic pain that is not necessarily related to their menstrual periods.3
  • Almost 70 out of 100 women with endometriosis had symptoms before age 20.3
  • Endometriosis is very rare before puberty.
  • Symptoms of endometriosis usually disappear after menopause.


  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2010). Noncontraceptive uses of hormonal contraceptives. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 110. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 115(1): 206–218.

  2. Fritz MA, Speroff L (2011). Endometriosis. In Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility, 8th ed., pp. 1221–1248. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2005). Endometriosis in adolescents. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 310. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 105(4): 921–927.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised July 7, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 07, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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