Endometriosis is an extremely painful disorder where the tissues which lines the inside of the uterus (endometrium) starts growing on the outside of the uterus (womb). Endometriosis usually includes the tissues lining the pelvis, fallopian tubes and our ovaries. During Endometriosis, the endometrial tissues breaks down and bleeds as it normally would. This tissue doesn’t have any way to exit from the body so it gets trapped. Endometriosis causes chronic pain during your periods. Sometimes, fertility can also be affected and it might create issues during conceiving a baby.
What causes Endometriosis?
The exact cause of Endometriosis is not yet known but studies suggest that it can be caused due to some factors such as:
- Retrograde menstruation- In this condition, menstrual blood that contains endometrial cells usually flow back into the pelvic cavity through the fallopian tubes instead of passing out from the body. These endometrial cells stick to the pelvic organs and pelvic walls where they thicken and start bleeding over the course of the menstrual cycle.
- Changing of the peritoneal cells- This is also called induction theory. Endometriosis can be caused due to the transformation of peritoneal cells.
- Embryonic transformation of cells- Hormones like estrogen can transform embryonic cells in the early stages.
- Surgical scar implantation- After a surgery like C-section or hysterectomy, the endometrial cells can attach itself to a surgical incision.
- Endometrial cells transport- The tissue fluid (lymphatic) or blood vessels can transport the endometrial cells to other body parts.
- Immune system disorder- If there is a problem with the immune system, it may make the body impossible to destroy and recognize the endometrial tissue which grows outside the uterus.
Risk factors that make you more susceptible in developing Endometriosis is:
- Not giving birth.
- Starting your period very early in life.
- Having your menopause at a very old age.
- Menstrual cycle less than 27 days.
- High levels of estrogen in your body or exposure to a high level of estrogen produced by your body.
- Low body mass
- Excessive Alcohol consumption
- One or more family members having Endometriosis.
- A medical condition which avoids the passage of menstrual blood out of the body.
- Abnormalities in the uterus (womb).
The symptoms of Endometriosis can end permanently if you experience menopause and can end temporarily if you get pregnant. Taking estrogen supplements can also trigger Endometriosis in some women.