Endometriosis: disease of the inner matrix

endos (inside) · metra (womb) · -osis (disease)

Chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, severe bloating, heavy bleeding, irregular menstrual cycles, abdominal pain, deep low-back pain, depression, infertility, and more pain.

These are symptoms and consequences of endometriosis, a life-altering disease affecting 10% of people born with ovaries. It is characterized by the presence of uterine-like tissue attached to other organs around the body, most often in the pelvic cavity. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2012 via laparoscopy.

As a scientist, I am determined to see diagnostic tools and treatments for this disease improve. As a person living with this disease on a daily basis, I want to raise awareness so that people are diagnosed sooner and face fewer barriers to effective treatment.

Some of my favorite resources:

  • Endo What? -- a fantastic documentary that revolutionized the way people see gynecology
  • Citizen Endo -- a data-driven project at Columbia University aiming to understand endometriosis via their own period-tracking app Phendo and machine learning
  • Clue -- a scientifically grounded period-tracking app integrated with a sexual health knowledge-base
  • "Endo" -- an autobiographical song by Jennie Skulander, lead singer of Devilskin, and her hospitalization due to endometriosis
  • The Calla Campaign -- an interdisciplinary project by women at Duke University about a new device that allows a person to view their own cervix plus artful perspectives on what it means to see inside one's own body