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Endometriosis More Common In Women With Healthy BMI

Researchers at the Royal Women's Hospital and the University of Melbourne have discovered the link between endometriosis and BMI.

Researchers in Melbourne have discovered a link between endometriosis and a woman's BMI.

The study at the Royal Women's Hospital and University of Melbourne involved 500 women.

More than two thirds suffered from clinically diagnoses endometriosis.

It found that the often crippling condition was more common in women with a healthy BMI.

But while the rate of endometriosis was lower in obese women, those who did suffer from it tended to experience a more severe form of the disease.

"We were expecting to see endometriosis occur at a higher frequency in the lower BMI population, but to have a more severe case to come through in the obese population was unexpected", said lead researcher Dr Sarah Holdsworth-Carson.

Holdsworth-Carson says the findings lead to important clinical applications. With surgeons now aware of the need to provide more time for surgery in obese women.

"We want to try and understand the disease better so we can help women with the disease by improving treatment and diagnosis".

What is endometriosis?

Just because a woman is diagnosed with a mild form of endometriosis, it doesn't mean she experiences less pain.

31-year-old Samantha Styles has been through labour three times, but she says the pain she experiences with her mild case of endometriosis is worse.

"Honestly, it feels like somebody's stabbing you," Styles said.

"I had someone say to me once it's like your insides are being scooped out like a pumpkin".

The pain she experienced is caused when cells similar to those that line the uterus, grow outside the uterus.

The condition affects one in ten women.

Styles had her appendix and gall bladder removed before doctors finally diagnosed endometriosis.

In a bid to reduce the pain, Styles has been taking medication to induce menopause.

She's now decided to take the drastic step of having her uterus removed.

Styles admits she's one of the lucky ones who managed to have children before having to undergo the invasive and life-changing procedure.

She says she's encouraged by the research being undertaken to understand the disease.

"It gives me hope that when my daughter is of age hopefully we'll have some answers and we won't have to go through this," she said.