Many women feel mild pains during their monthly menstrual cycles. However, others experience more severe symptoms. Endometriosis is a very common gynecological disorder. But what causes endometriosis?
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Endometrium refers to the tissue that lines the uterus. The endometrium is when the tissue found outside the uterus affects the ovaries, ligament supporting the uterus, and fallopian tubes. It also affects the outer surface and rectum.
The endometrial tissue can reach outside the uterus and form nodules or growths. Because it is similar to the lining tissue in the uterus, it can respond with the hormones of the menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle is when the lining of the uterus builds up, breaks apart, and bleeds. However, unlike the lining, the endometrial tissues do not leave the body. This causes internal bleeding, degeneration of blood and tissue, severe pelvic pain, scar tissue formation, bowel problems, and infertility.
Endometriosis can be caused by many different theories. Retrograde menstruation, the most common theory, is the most widely accepted. This theory suggests that endometriosis is caused by the growth of the menstrual tissue, the implanting in the abdomen, and backup from the fallopian tubes. Women who have a hormonal or immune problem are more susceptible to being affected.
Alternative theories suggest that endometrial tissue may circulate in the blood or lymph from the uterus to other parts of the body. This disease could be fatal for a woman whose female relatives are affected.