TAMPA - Many women may suffer from severe endometriosis and may not know it.
Dr. Meenakshi Jain of St. Petersburg General Hospital says the symptoms can start at a very early age and may include severe pelvic pain, crampy periods, severe backache and lower abdominal pain.
She said many women, "I think it's normal because a lot of them have moms, sisters and cousins who have the same symptoms and those cousins and moms and sisters have gone to other physicians and they are told this is normal, this is the way it's suppose to be."
Dr. Jain also said that endometriosis can sometimes go undetected because of negative test results.
"So when these tests come back negative", said Dr. Jain, "the patient says, 'Well, don't worry about it. This is just normal.'"
She recommended a minimally invasive robotic surgery for patient 24-year-old Danielle Phillips after her diagnosis of endometriosis.
For Phillips, the surgery not only meant less pain, but also a chance at motherhood.
"It got rid of my menstrual cramps and also allowed me to possibly have children in the future", said Phillips.