As with any chronic pain, endometriosis at its worst can cause life-altering changes. In the most severe cases, women are unable to work because of the pain. This can create financial problems and raise self-esteem issues.

The disease can also affect relationships, especially since endometriosis can cause pain during sex. If this is the case, a woman and her partner must be able to communicate openly about how they can still express their sexuality.

Some positions may be more comfortable than others. The effects of endometriosis can also be emotionally traumatic. For women who want children, infertility can be devastating.

The Endometriosis Association, a 20-year-old organization based in Milwaukee, offers support groups around the world for women with the disease. The association also provides formal and informal counseling for women with endometriosis. Upon request, it will provide educational information about the disease. The association publishes a newsletter that covers treatment and research news.