Causes Of Endometriosis

Written by Amy Hall
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There is some debate over the causes of endometriosis, and ongoing research in this field continues to strive for some definitive answers. That being said, science and medicine have developed some theories that are widely accepted today as possible causes of this progressive disease. Retrograde menstruation, also known as "backward menstruation" is one culprit. With retrograde menstruation, the lining of the uterus does not flow out of the body through the vagina, but rather up through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity.

Some scientists believe that endometriosis could be the result of an immune system malfunction. The idea is that the bodies of women with an immune system malfunction are unable to stop or control the growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. This uncontrolled growth leads to the formation of scar tissue and adhesions in the pelvic cavity, around the bladder and/or kidneys, around the bowel, and the ovaries. The end result is oftentimes chronic pelvic pain that lasts the week before menstruation through the end of a woman's period, and in some cases all month long.

Another causative factor for endometriosis is related to genetics. Some scientists and researchers believe that some families carry faulty genes that allow cells not normally found in the pelvic cavity the ability to grow and thrive. Other suspected causes of endometriosis include exposure to toxins, such as dioxins, and irregularities with the menstrual cycle. In other words, women who started their periods at an early age, have short menstrual cycles (less than 27 days), and have long periods (more than seven days), are at a higher risk for developing endometriosis.

Getting Relief from Endometriosis

If you are not ready to become pregnant, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills that alleviate symptoms by stopping ovulation altogether. If you are ready to conceive, pregnancy can stop symptoms as well, as you will not menstruate during your pregnancy. Some women who give birth never experience signs of their endometriosis post-pregnancy, while others do to a lesser degree. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove scar tissue and adhesions that are causing chronic pelvic pain.

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