Endometriosis, a pain disorder associated with the lower abdomen, affects an estimated 89 million women worldwide, including 6.5 million in the United States alone, but according to the Endometriosis Association, it can take up ten years after symptoms appear for women to be diagnosed. Even more disappointing is that doctors often overlook cases of younger women suffering from the condition, leaving teenagers suffering from symptoms including pain, nausea, constipation and exhaustion. The cause of the condition is unknown and cure does not currently exit, but if properly diagnosed at a young age, the intensity of symptoms may be reduced with the aid of birth control pills, a progesterone IUD, or worst-case scenario, a hysterectomy. A recent study conducted by MIT and published in Science Translational Medicine claims to have ‘uncovered cellular activity that may provide a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the condition,’ and study leader Michael Beste put it best when he said, ‘There’s a real need in the field to improve our understanding of both the basic biology and the clinical manifestations of the disease to better treat and improve the quality of life of affected women.’ Amen to that. If you or a loved one is experiencing similar symptoms, be sure to raise the topic of Endometriosis with your doctor.