About the Endometriosis Association

Who We Are

The Endometriosis Association is a self-help organization of women and families with endo, doctors, scientists, and others interested in exchanging information about the endometriosis disease. The Association is an international organization with headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA), with members in numerous countries, and activities worldwide.

Why We Exist (Our Mission)

The ultimate goal of the Endometriosis Association is to find a cure and prevention for endometriosis while at the same time providing education, support, and research to those affected.

The Future We’re Striving For (Our Vision)

It is our vision that, worldwide every girl, woman, and family affected by endometriosis and its related diseases will…

  • have support, knowledge, and help in securing accurate, early diagnosis and effective treatment for this chronic, painful, and complex disease
  • be empowered to advocate for their own physical and emotional health, and to help others affected by endometriosis to do so
  • help change the environmental and other contributing factors linked to endometriosis to diminish the occurrence and severity of endometriosis and related diseases

We believe in the future where…

  • our members, the medical community, and the public will understand that pain with female reproductive function is not normal and that endometriosis is a systemic disease with associated immune, endocrine, and other aspects
  • our research will contribute to finding causes, treatments, prevention, and a cure for endometriosis and related health problems

Our Endometriosis Association Community

Endo Community Image Color

Our Founding Story

The Endometriosis Association was the first organization in the world created for those with endometriosis. As an independent self-help organization of women with endometriosis, doctors, and others interested in the disease, it is a recognized authority in its field whose goal is to work toward finding a cure for the disease as well as providing education, support, and research.

Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1980 by Mary Lou Ballweg and Carolyn Keith, it is now a worldwide, independent organization. It has grown to such an extent that it now has a network in 66 countries throughout the world. Information from the Endometriosis Association is available in 30+ different languages.

Since its creation, the Endometriosis Association has achieved many goals, one being the undertaking of massive educational projects involving mailings to every gynecologist, hospital, and college health service in the US and Canada. It has also published three books: Overcoming Endometriosis, The Endometriosis Sourcebook, and our most recent book, Endometriosis: The Complete Reference for Taking Charge of Your Health. A wide range of literature, fact sheets, and DVDs can also be obtained through the Endometriosis Association store.

Operating as a non-profit organization, the Association aims to establish funds to enable more research into the causes of endometriosis. As part of its research program, the Association has funded and assisted a number of researchers in various parts of the world. It also maintains a large data research registry and continues work on the relationship between dioxin and endometriosis, a relationship the Association discovered.

The Association teamed up with the prestigious Vanderbilt University School of Medicine to create a dedicated research facility to address the mechanisms responsible for causing endometriosis. Among other research projects supported by the Association have been a study of the dioxin-exposed young women in Seveso, Italy; publicity and help obtaining patients and families for a genetic study at Oxford University, England; support for research on a non-invasive diagnostic technique by a U.S. researcher; and small grants and tissue samples for a number of researchers studying dioxin and related toxins and endometriosis.

Mary Lou Ballweg, President
Karen Luba, Vice President of Support
Linda Bellgraph, Vice President of Education
Genika Reed, Director of Special Projects-Women of Color Outreach
Rachel Blaisdell, Director of Special Projects-Family Awareness
Sarah Whyte, Treasurer
Tawnya Foster, Recording Secretary


The Endometriosis Association Advisors are selected for their expertise on specific scientific and/or clinical aspects of endometriosis. They advise the Association on important matters related to endometriosis, review research proposals the Association might fund, provide a sounding board for Association board and staff, help promote the Association’s mission and assist in numerous ways.

(Note to those with endometriosis: simply because a physician is an Advisor does not mean he/she is the right healthcare provider for you. For help finding an endometriosis specialist who matches your needs, please contact the Endometriosis Association, and see the Association’s books. The Endometriosis Sourcebook, for example, has an extensive section on endometriosis surgery and choosing a good endometriosis surgeon.)

Leila Adamyan, M.D.
Dept. of Operative Gynecology
Scientific Cntr.
Moscow, Russia

Arnold Advincula, M.D.
Chief of Gynecology, Sloane Hosp. for Women
Columbia Univ. Medical Cntr.
New York, New York

Erkut Attar, M.D., Ph.D.
Prof., Div. of Reprod. Endocrinology & Infertility, Dept. of Ob/Gyn
Istanbul Univ., Istanbul Medical School
Istanbul, Turkey

Breton Barrier, M.D.
Dept. of Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health
Univ. of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri

Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D.
National Inst. of Environmental Health Sci.
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Andrew I. Brill, M.D.
Cntr. for Advanced Surgical Options in Gynecology
Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation
San Francisco, California

Serdar E. Bulun, M.D.
Chief, Div. Reprod. Biology Research
Northwestern Univ.
Chicago, Illinois

Michel Canis, M.D.
Polycliniques Hôtel Dieu
Clermont, France

Stella M. Căpek, Ph.D.
Dept. of Sociology/Anthropology
Hendrix College
Conway, Arkansas

Charles Chapron, M.D.
Prof. of Ob/Gyn, Univ. René Descartes
Head, Dept. Ob & Gyn & Reprod. Med., Cochin Univ. Hosp.
Paris, France

Hilary Critchley, M.D.
Prof. of Reprod. Med.
Univ. of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland

Thomas D’Hooghe, M.D., Ph.D.
Dept. of Ob/Gyn
Leuven Univ. Fertility Cntr.
Univ. Hosp. Gasthuisberg
Leuven, Belgium

W. Paul Dmowski, M.D., Ph.D.
Inst. for the Study & Treatment of Endo
Oak Brook, Illinois

John F. Dulemba, M.D.
The Women’s Centre
Denton, Texas

Asgi T. Fazleabas, Ph.D.
Research Chair & Director of Women’s Health Research
Michigan State Univ.
East Lansing, Michigan

Idhaliz Flores-Caldera, Ph.D.
Prof., Dept. of Basic Sci., Microbiology, Dept. of Clin. Sci., Ob/Gyn, Ponce Health Sci. Univ. – School of Med. & Ponce Research Inst.
Ponce, Puerto Rico

Warren Foster, Ph.D.
Prof. of Reprod. Biology Div., Dept. of Ob/Gyn
McMaster Univ.
Hamilton, Canada

Ian Stewart Fraser, M.D.
Chair in Reprod. Med.
Dept. of Ob/Gyn
Univ. of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

Linda C. Giudice, M.D., Ph.D.
Prof. & Chair, Ob/Gyn & Reprod. Sci.
Univ. of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California

Leon Earl Gray Jr., Ph.D.
Environmental Protection Agency
National Health & Environmental Effects Research Laboratory
Research Triangle Park, NC

Linda G. Griffith, Ph.D.
Director, Cntr. for Gynepathology Research
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mark D. Hornstein, M.D.
Assoc. Prof. of Ob/Gyn & Reprod. Biology
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Mary Louise Hull, M.D., Ph.D.
Assoc. Prof., Group Leader, Endo Research Group
The Robinson Research Inst., Research Centre for Reprod. Health
The University of Adelaide, Australia

Darin Joseph Ingels, N.D.
New England Family Health Association
Southport, Connecticut

Keith Isaacson, M.D.
Assoc. Prof., Ob, Gyn & Reprod. Biology, Harvard Medical School
Admin. Dir., MIS & Infertility, Newton-Wellesley Hosp.
Boston, Massachusetts

Russell Jaffe, M.D., Ph.D., C.C.N.
ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies, Inc.
Sterling, Virginia

Grace M. Janik, M.D.
Assoc. Program Dir., Med. College of WI
Ob/Gyn Residency Program
Reprod. Specialty Cntr.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

D. Alan Johns, M.D.
Harris Methodist Hosp.
Ft. Worth, Texas

Wayne Konetzki, M.D.
Allergy & Environmental Med.
Serenity Health Care Cntr.
Waukesha, Wisconsin

Philippe R. Koninckx, M.D., Ph.D.
Prof. & Head of Endoscopic Surgery Div.
Univ. Hosp. Gasthuisberg
Leuven, Belgium

Marc Laufer, M.D.
Chief, Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology Children’s Hosp.
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Dan I. Lebovic, M.D.
Cntr. for Reprod. Med. & Advanced Reprod. Technologies
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bruce A. Lessey, M.D., Ph.D.
Cntr. for Women’s Med.
Greenville Hosp. System
Greenville, South Carolina

Anthony Luciano, M.D.
Women’s Surgery Cntr.
New Britain, Connecticut

Rakesh K. Mangal, M.D.
Ob/Gyn & Fertility Specialists of Houston
Houston, Texas

Michele Marcus, Ph.D.
Dept. of Epidemiology
Rollins School of Public Health
Emory Univ.
Atlanta, Georgia

Dan C. Martin, M.D.
Prof. Emeritus, College of Med.
Univ. of Tennessee Health Science Cntr.
Memphis, Tennessee
(Retired to Richmond, Virginia)

Prof. Dr. med. Liselotte Mettler
Dept. of Ob/Gyn
Kiel, Germany

Charles E. Miller, M.D.
Clin. Assoc. Prof., Univ. of Illinois-Chicago
Dir., MIS, Lutheran General Hosp.
Park Ridge, Illinois

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed.B.A. Dip. ION M.A.
Clin. Nutrition Consultant
London, England

Camran R. Nezhat, M.D.
Clin. Prof. of Ob/Gyn & Surgery
Cntr. for Special MIS
Stanford Univ. Medical School
Palo Alto, California

Ceana Nezhat, M.D.
Clin. Assoc. Prof., Gyn & Ob, Emory Univ. School of Med.
Director, Nezhat Medical Cntr.
Chair, Dept. of ObGyn, Northside Hosp.
Atlanta, Georgia

Farr R. Nezhat, M.D.
Director, MIS and Gyn. Robotics
Div. of Gyn. Oncology, Dept. of Ob/Gyn
St. Luke’s & Roosevelt Hospitals
New York, New York

Daoshing Ni, L.Ac., Ph.D., D.O.M., Dipl. C.H.
TAO of Wellness
Santa Monica, California
Judy Norsigian
Former Executive Director
Our Bodies, Ourselves
Boston, Massachusetts

Iris Kerin Orbuch, M.D.
Dir., Advanced Gyn. Laparoscopy Cntr.
New York, New York

Kevin G. Osteen, Ph.D.
Assoc. Prof., Ob/Gyn & Pathology
Dir., Endo Association Research Program at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt Univ. School of Med.
Nashville, Tennessee

Luis Carlos Paez, M.D.
Private Practice
San Pedro, Mexico

William H. Parker, M.D.
Clin. Prof.
UCLA School of Med.
Private Practice
Los Angeles, California

Mark Perloe, M.D.
Director, Reprod. Endocrinology
Atlanta Reprod. Health Centre
Atlanta, Georgia

Felice Petraglia, M.D.
Prof. of Ob/Gyn
Chair of the Dept. of Pediatrics
Univ. of Siena
Siena, Italy

David B. Redwine, M.D.
Chandler, Arizona

Monique Micheline Regard, M.D.
Children’s Physicians of Westchester
Hawthorne, New York

Peter A.W. Rogers, Ph.D.
Univ. of Melbourne Dept. Ob/Gyn and
Royal Women’s Hospital
Parkville, Victoria, 3052 Australia

Robert S. Schenken, M.D.
Dir., Reprod. Endocrinology & Infertility
Univ. of Texas Health Science Cntr
San Antonio, Texas
William D. Schlaff, M.D.
Chairman & Prof.
Dept. of Ob/Gyn
Jefferson Univ. Hospitals
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

James Segars, M.D.
Director of Reprod. Science & Women’s Health Research
Dept. of Gynecology & Obstetrics
Johns Hopkins Univ.
Baltimore, Maryland

James A. Simon, M.D.
Clin. Prof., Div. of Reprod. Endocrinology & Infertility
Dept. of Ob/Gyn
George Washington Univ. School of Med.
Washington, District of Columbia

David Soriano, M.D.
Director of Endo Cntr.
Dept. of Ob/Gyn, Sheba Medical Cntr. & Tel-Aviv Univ.-Saklar Medical School
Tel-Aviv, Israel

Hugh S. Taylor, M.D.
Div. of Reprod. Endo & Infertility
Dept. of Ob, Gyn, & Reprod. Sci.
Yale Univ. School of Med.
New Haven, Connecticut

Robert N. Taylor, M.D., Ph.D.
Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Clinical & Translational Research Center
University of Buffalo
Buffalo, NY

Kathy Lynn Sharpe-Timms, Ph.D.
Dept. of Ob, Gyn, & Women’s Health
Univ. of Missouri – Columbia
Columbia, Missouri

Glenn A. Toth, M.D.
Private Practice – Environmental Med.
Spring City Health Centre
Waukesha, Wisconsin

Togas Tulandi, M.D.
McGill Univ.
Montreal, Quebec

Paolo Vercellini, M.D.
Cntr. for Study & Treatment of Endo
Dept. of Ob/Gyn “L. Mangiagalli”
Univ. of Milan School of Med.
Milan, Italy

Michael W. Vernon, Ph.D.
West Virginia Univ.
Robert C. Byrd Health Sci. Cntr.
Morgantown, West Virginia

Aristo Vojdani, Ph.D., M.Sc., M.T.
Founder, CEO & Vice President of Research
& Development
Immunosciences Lab, Inc.
Beverly Hills, California

Frederick Vom Saal, Ph.D.
CEO, XenoAnalytical LLC
Columbia, Missouri

Leonard Weather Jr., R.Ph., M.D
Director, Omni Fertility & Laser Institute
Shreveport, Louisiana

Lip Kee Yap, M.D.
MIS Prof.
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre

David Adamson, M.D.
Marla Ahlgrimm, R.Ph.D.
Ali Akoum, Ph.D.
Ronald E. Batt, M.D, Ph.D.
Agneta Bergqvist, M.D., Ph.D.
Karen J. Berkley, Ph.D.
Donald P. Braun, Ph.D.
Lyle Breitkopf, M.D.
Louise Annette Brinton, Ph.D.
Ming-Yang Chang, M.D.
Donald L. Chatman, M.D.
K. K. Chu, M.D.
Michael Diamond, M.D.
Prof. Jacques Donnez, M.D.
Hans Evers, M.D.
Eduardo Alberto Gonzalez Fabbrizzi, M.D.
Robert R. Franklin, M.D.
Stanley R. Glasser, Ph.D.
Fred Howard, M.D.
W.F. (Dub) Howard, M.D.
Bob Hunt, M.D.
John Jarrell, M.D.
Felipe Jofré, M.D.
Stephen Kennedy, M.A., M.D.
Robert Kistner, M.D.
Charles Koh, M.D.
Arnold Kresch, M.D.
Arthur Leader, M.D.
André Lemay, M.D., Ph.D.
Kay Lie, M.D.
Thomas L. Lyons, M.D.
Subbi Mathur, Ph.D.
Deborah Metzger, M.D., Ph.D.
Akira Miyake, M.D., Ph.D.
Mette Haase Moen, M.D., Ph.D.
Roberta Ness, M.D., M.P.H.
David L. Olive, M.D.
Carlos Alberto Petta, M.D., Ph.D.
William J. Rea, M.D.
Osamu Tsutsumi, M.D., Ph.D.
Ian Tummon, M.D.
Johan van der Wat, M.D.
Robert A. Wild, M.D.
Nancy Worcester, Ph.D.
Albert Yuzpe, M.D.

Learn more about how you can get involved or become a member of the Endometriosis Association today!