Endometriosis is an extremely painful condition where tissue that normally lines the endometrium (the inside of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus instead. There are some instances where endometrial tissue can spread beyond the area of the pelvis. Endometrial tissue can become displaced but it has no way to exit the body. When this occurs, scar tissue and adhesions can form. Here is some information on potential causes as well as how to tell if you may have the condition.
Experts have not determined the exact cause of endometriosis, but there are several explanations of why this condition may occur. Here are some of them.
- The growth of embryonic cells – The pelvic and abdominal cavities are lined with embryonic cells. If an area of this type of lining becomes endometrial tissue, then endometriosis can occur.
- Surgical scars – Endometrial cells can attach themselves to incisions after a procedure such as a C-section or a hysterectomy.
- Disorders of the immune system – If a person has an immune system problem, the body may not be able to recognize endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus and be able to destroy it.
- Retrograde menstruation – Many experts believe this is the most likely cause of endometriosis. This is where menstrual blood that contains endometrial cells flow back into the pelvic cavity, rather outside of the body. These cells can attach themselves to the walls of the pelvis as well as the pelvic organs. They then grow, thicken and bleed through each menstrual cycle.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Endometriosis typically acts differently in different women. Many women, in fact, do not even realize they have the condition and only learn after being checked by a doctor for something else. Some women experience mild cramping, while others are in such severe pain they cannot function. If your condition is severe, you may be treated with surgery or with medication. If you would like more information or schedule an appointment, contact DFW Center for Fertility and IVF online or call us at 469-854-0305.