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Causes & Symptoms of Endometriosis

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A painful issue in which tissue same as the tissue that usually lines the uterus inside (known as the endometrium) expands outside one’s uterus is known as Endometriosis. This problem involves one’s tissue (on the pelvis lines), fallopian tubes, and ovaries. 

Occasionally, tissue (endometrial-like) can be present beyond the area of location of pelvic organs. The ones who have endometriosis, the endometrial-like tissue behaves as normal endometrial tissue, i.e. it bleeds during every menstrual cycle, breaks down, and becomes thick. As this tissue has no path to exit the body, hence it gets trapped inside. 

Cysts known as endometriomas can also form in cases where endometriosis includes ovaries. Due to this, neighbouring tissue becomes irritated, resulting in adhesions and scar tissue (adhesions are fibrous tissue bands that can make organs and pelvic tissues sticked to each other.

It can often cause pain (sometimes normal while sometimes severe) and especially when the menstrual cycle is going on. It can also cause fertility problems, but luckily there are some effective treatments that are present for this problem.

Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis’ primary symptom is a pain in the pelvic region which is often related to the menstrual cycle. Many females also have cramping during their periods, but the ones who have endometriosis have much worse pain as compared to usual menstrual pain. This pain can also increase with time and can become severe in a few cases.

There are some common signs and symptoms of endometriosis that can include:

Dysmenorrhea (Painful periods): Before a few days and after several days of the menstrual cycle or periods, cramping and pelvic pain can start. One can also have abdominal pain and lower back pain in a few cases.

Pain during intercourse: In people with endometriosis, during and after intercourse pains are a common thing and might be severe in some females.

Urination & bowel movements pain: The pain symptoms during urination and bowel movements can be experienced during one’s menstrual periods

Infertility: Losing fertility is also one of the endometriosis symptoms and sometimes, those who are exploring infertility treatments, get diagnosed with endometriosis

Excessive bleeding: This symptom is also experienced during one’s menstrual periods, and some may see heavy bleeding during these periods (intermenstrual bleeding).

Other symptoms & signs: One can also experience symptoms such as constipation, fatigue, nausea or bloating, diarrhea, and these also during the menstrual cycle.

To know the exact condition of your problem, the pain severity might not be a correct indicator. People may have very light endometriosis but pain can be severe, or they may have a very advanced level of endometriosis but no or very little pain. Sometimes, endometriosis is confused with a few problems that cause pain in the pelvis region, examples of that include ovarian cyst or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

It can also be mistaken for irritable bowel syndromes (IBS), defined as a problem in which diarrhea bouts are there, abdominal cramping occurs, and also have constipation. The diagnosis of endometriosis becomes complicated when IBS occurs with endometriosis.

One should consult a doctor if he/ she has symptoms and signs that can hint toward having endometriosis. As this is a challenging issue, hence early diagnosis really helps and can have better management of the complete problem.

Endometriosis Causes

There is no certain or exact cause of endometriosis, but there are a few possible explanations that include:

  • Retrograde menstruation: If one has endometriosis, during retrograde menstruation, the blood that has endometrial cells, instead of going out of the body, flows back to the fallopian tubes and then into the cavity of the pelvic area. These cells get attached to the walls of the pelvis and other surfaces of organs of the pelvis, where they start growing, thickening themselves, and bleed during each menstrual cycle course.

  • Transformation of Embryonic cell: There are a few hormones (like estrogen) that can transform embryonic cells. These are the cells in their early stage of development. They can be transformed into implants (endometrial-like cells) during the puberty phase.

  • Peritoneal Cells transformation: There are cells that line the abdomen’s inner side, those cells are known as peritoneal cells. As per the so-called induction theory, immune factors or hormones promotes peritoneal cells’ transformation into endometrial-like cells.

  • Transportation of endometrial cells: Endometrial cells are transported to other parts of the body by tissue fluid system or blood vessels and this can also be one of the endometriosis causes.

  • Immune system disorder: As everyone knows, the immune system protects us from all kinds of health issues and a problem with the immune system can make one’s body not able to recognize problems, and hence the body will not be able to destroy the tissue (endometrial-like) expanding outside one’s uterus.

  • Take Away

    In summary, endometriosis is a problem that has no certain causes or doesn’t have known exact causes, but one should related signs and symptoms, and consult a doctor on time. Consulting a doctor for endometriosis treatment on time can be a crucial thing as a doctor can easily help you reduce these symptoms. As mentioned above, early or on-time diagnosis can definitely help manage the whole treatment.