What Causes Endometriosis?

The exact cause of endometriosis is not known yet, but it results because of the abnormal growth of the tissues that are similar to the tissues that are present in the linings of the uterus. Endometrial tissues form the walls of the uterus, but some tissues act like endometrial tissues and start unusually growing and developing inside the uterus. They spread to other parts of the reproductive organs. 

The endometrial-like tissues grow in the wrong places, that is, the places other than the uterus, which are fallopian tubes, ovaries, and intestines.It gives rise to pain and inflammation in the pelvis, and pain intensifies when the female is menstruating. The pain is a result of increased inflammation.

The condition affects the reproductive organs due to the implantation of the endometrial-like tissues. As these tissues grow inside the uterus, they can cause fibrosis, cysts, and the formation of scar tissues. The person will develop the following symptoms:

  • Pain during menstruation – The intense pelvic pain and cramps are linked to endometriosis. One can differentiate between the usual pain (dysmenorrhea) and endometriosis, as it is far worse in the case of endometriosis. The cramps will also be more severe than the usual ones that are experienced during menstruating.
  • Excessive bleeding – The condition leads to the accumulation of a thick wall of endometrial implants in the uterus. These tissues will shed along with the blood during menstruation. The shedding causes severe pain and cramps. Also, the bleeding can happen even when the female is not menstruating. The chances of intermenstrual bleeding are also there, which causes bleeding in between periods.
  • Pain during bowel movements or urination – The condition can cause painful bowel movements. It happens as the lesions apply pressure on the rectum, which is a place where the endometrial tissues can get implanted. This can also cause bloating, constipation, and flatulence.
  • Pain during sexual penetration – Endometriosis can lead to sexual abstinence, as it causes pain during sexual intercourse. The pain is a result of irritation and stretching of the affected tissues.
  • Fertility problems – Individuals diagnosed with endometriosis face issues regarding their fertility. They find it difficult to conceive despite trying for too long. This happens because the endometrial tissuesprevent the implantation of the fertilized egg, and also stop the sperm from meeting the egg (ovum).

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must immediately consult a gynecologist. They will suggest a diagnostic test for the evaluation of your condition, and if it is confirmed that you are having endometriosis then they will suggest the right treatment.

Can endometriosis be prevented?

The condition occurs because of the abnormal growth of the endometrial-like tissues inside the uterus and nearby organs. The growth of the tissues cannot be stopped, and therefore, one cannot prevent endometriosis. Also, it cannot be cured completely. The only way to deal with the condition is to manage it with treatment.

Besides, the factor responsible for leading to such a condition can be genetics. If the person has close relatives who are affected by this condition, then their chances of developing a condition like this are high. According to the Cleveland Clinic website, one cannot prevent endometriosis, but its risk can be reduced in the following ways:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Keeping a healthy body weight.

Confirmatory tests for endometriosis

The symptoms of endometriosis are quite similar to other disorders that are linked to the reproductive organs in females. This is why, a confirmatory test will make it clear whether the person is experiencing the symptoms of any other disorder or it is endometriosis. The tests that confirm the person has endometriosis are given below:

  • Ultrasound – This test produces clear images of the reproductive organs and helps determine the degree of damage to the organs.
  • Laparoscopy – This technique involves an invasive method, that is performed by making small incisions below the belly button to insert a slender instrument, known as a laparoscope inside the pelvis to identify the disorder.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan – This technique generates 3D images of the pelvic organs, and helps in determining the cause of symptoms. It also detects cysts, fibrosis, and scar tissues.

Medications for suppressing endometriosis

Your healthcare provider will prescribe some medications that will be helpful in alleviating the pain and cramps and preventing the progression of the condition. The methods used to suppress endometriosis are given below:

  • Contraceptive options – Oral contraceptive pills, vaginal rings, injections or shots, patches, and hormonal pills are the effective methods to halt menstrual periods.
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) drugs – These drugs prevent menstrual periods by decreasing the levels of hormones that are responsible for triggering menstruation. As a result, the endometriosis symptoms will be suppressed.
  • Surgery – To get relief from the condition, surgery can be an option. Two types of surgeries can be performed – conservative and hysterectomy.


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