Endometriosis is a sometimes life-altering condition that affects as many as 10% of women of childbearing age.
“My main symptom was excruciating pain. When I had my period. I would be bedridden for like two or three days and that's every month. I would have very heavy bleeding, I was anemic,” said Christina Ciancarelli.
She has endometriosis, which means the cells that are supposed to be on the inside of her uterus are found outside.
“These lesions can grow on the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, and the intestines, the bladder, et cetera, and that is not normal,” said Christine Metz, co-director of a study looking at the effects of endometriosis.
Not only is it painful, but it can also lead to infertility.
Many women suffer for years without being diagnosed.
When they finally are, it's through invasive laparoscopic surgery.
That's why the people behind the Feinstein Institute's Rose Study are encouraging women to enroll.
“Those cells lining the inside of the uterus are different in those with and without endometriosis,
and we have been focused on developing a noninvasive diagnostic based on that,” said Metz.
The Rose Study needs menstrual blood from women, whether they have endometriosis or not.
Ciancarelli had several surgeries for her endometriosis, including a hysterectomy, before finally finding relief.
“So much better. it's like I have my life back,” Ciancarelli said.
She's glad to have taken part in the study and encourages others to do so, so she can help more people find answers.
If you’d like to enroll in the Rose Study, you can call (516) 562-3636 (ENDO)