Women and girls can access an endometriosis screening site locator by logging onto www.killercramps.org, where they can take a test to assess their risk for endometriosis. They can also call the Endometriosis Association at 1-800-992-3636.
"If you have killer cramps, you need to know that pelvic pain is not normal. It's the body's way of telling you something is wrong," said Mary Lou Ballweg, director of the association. Nine times out of 10, it's a sign of endometriosis.
That's a debilitating disease that affects at least 5.5 million women and girls in the United States and Canada. The most frequent symptom is pelvic pain that may have a monthly pattern, may or may not be constant and can interfere with the ability to perform activities of daily living.
It is a hormonal and immunological disease that takes its name from the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus and builds up and sheds each month in the menstrual cycle. With the disease, tissue is found outside the uterus in other areas of the body, such as the ovaries, bowel, bladder and abdominal lining, which can cause disabling pain, infertility, scar tissue and other problems.