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  • Comedian Amy Schumer took to social media to talk about the symptoms of endometriosis.
  • Endometriosis is a common condition, affecting an estimated 1 in 10 women.
  • The condition has been given the nickname “the missed disease,” as it is poorly understood and difficult to diagnose.

Amy Schumer revealed that she has endometriosis, a chronic disease where tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus.

Schumer, 42, was responding to criticism that her face appeared more swollen than usual in recent media appearances.

“I’ve enjoyed feedback and deliberation about my appearance as all women do for almost 20 years. And you’re right it is puffier than normal right now. I have endometriosis an auto immune disease that every woman should read about. There are some medical and hormonal things going on in my world right now but I’m okay,” Schumer posted on Instagram.

Endometriosis is a common condition, affecting an estimated 1 in 10 people with uteruses.

Despite affecting so many people, the condition, which has been given the nickname “the missed disease,” is poorly understood, frequently dismissed, and difficult to diagnose.

“Like any chronic disease , things can flare up during menses, with certain physical activities and even related to diet for some patients. The range of symptoms are so vast, it is really dependent on the extent of the disease,” Dr. Sameena Rahman, a board-certified OB/GYN and founder at Center for Gynecology and Cosmetics in Chicago, IL, told Healthline.

People with endometriosis often report bleeding in between periods, painful periods, painful intercourse, and pain with urination or defecation.

“Whole body swelling is not a common symptom, but feeling swollen is a common complaint,” said Dr. Chandrika Rao, a board-certified OB/GYN with Pediatrix Medical Group.

It’s entirely possible to become pregnant with endometriosis, but many people, especially those with late-stage endometriosis, experience issues conceiving.

In many cases, the condition can be asymptomatic and people only discover they have the condition when being evaluated for infertility.

The condition occurs in four stages, from one to four, with stage one being the mildest and stage four being the most severe.

With stage four endometriosis, for example, thick adhesions can be found throughout the pelvic area.

“Endometriosis can be a debilitating disorder, but oftentimes it is an incidental finding. Not everyone who has endometriosis has severe symptoms,” says Rao.

It’s unclear what causes endometriosis, but it’s thought to be multifactorial.

Some researchers suspect the condition is due to “retrograde menstruation, which occurs when menstrual blood flows back up through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity.

The blood is thought to contain endometrial cells from the uterine lining that stick to other pelvic organs, thicken, and bleed each month during menstruation.

Other experts believe that endometriosis is caused by genetic factors, hormone dysfunction, past surgeries, and issues within the immune system.

Risk factors include having a family history, not having a history of pregnancies, early onset of first menstrual cycle, congenital defects of the uterus, low body mass index, obstruction of menstrual flow, and short menstrual cycles lasting less than 27 days, according to Rahman.

Endometriosis is associated with a greater risk of early menopause.

Endometriosis cannot be prevented, however, there are various strategies, including hormonal birth control, exercise, and dietary modifications, that can impact the amount of estrogen in the body, which influences the thickness of the uterine lining and reduces the risk of developing it.

A pelvic exam will typically first be conducted in people who are experiencing any of the symptoms linked to endometriosis.

Depending on the symptoms, imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, may also be ordered to look for abnormal growths or ovarian cysts.

That said, laparoscopy, a type of minimally invasive surgery done to look inside the pelvic area, is the only way a doctor can confirm a diagnosis of endometriosis.

While endometriosis is rarely cured, the condition — and the painful symptoms it triggers — can be treated with analgesics, hormonal therapy, and surgery.

People often have to experiment with various treatments to find a solution that alleviates their unique set of symptoms.

“You do not need surgery for adequate treatment. It is most often diagnosed clinically due to pelvic pain and managed with medications,” Rao said.

Amy Schumer revealed that she has endometriosis, a chronic disease where tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include pelvic pain during sex, menstruation, and going to the bathroom. The condition is notoriously difficult to diagnose, and while it’s rarely curable, there are treatments to ease the symptoms.