Women walk at the corniche in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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"I always suffered," Carine Boustani told The Daily Star.Boustani suffers from endometriosis, a poorly understood condition that affects one in 10 women in Lebanon.Endometriosis is a condition that usually targets women's reproductive organs.Often overlooked in Lebanon due to its close association with menstruation, she says awareness surrounding endometriosis is virtually nonexistent. Perhaps reflecting her own experiences and difficulties with endometriosis, Boustani's activism focuses on bringing awareness to the condition, both in Lebanon and abroad. Compounding the problem, endometriosis is a complex disease to diagnose and treat, as its symptoms are easily misunderstood for either regular menstrual pain or other diseases with similar indications. Ramona al-Ferekh told The Daily Star that little is known about the disease, so doctors may attribute the condition to genetics. As the administrator of Endometriosis Lebanon, a women's health awareness website, Ferekh explained that the disease can also manifest seemingly at random and unrelated to a patient's genetic background. The age group affected by endometriosis, according to Boustani, ranges from 25 to 40 .Endometriosis does not have a permanent cure, but does have several treatments that can help alleviate symptoms.
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