Have you wondered ‘what is endometriosis?’ This is a condition wherein the cells from the inner lining of womb emerge and thrive outside the cavity of the uterus, on the ovaries. Endometrial cells, influenced by female hormones, line the uterine cavity. Hormonal changes lead to alterations in the functioning of these cells. The symptoms may typically deteriorate as the menstrual cycle progresses.
Endometriosis usually appears in the reproductive years in about 5% to 10% of women. The symptoms experienced may differ on the basis of the site of the endometriosis. It is also commonly found in women experiencing infertility.
The endometrial cells are shed each month during menstruation which is the reason why they affect women of childbearing age.
To understand the concept of what is endometriosis better, you should know that these cellular growths are benign and not cancerous. While symptoms may not always exist, they may be painful and cause other problems.
Every month, the uterine lining thickens to make preparation for an egg. This is the place for an egg cell implant and growth, if fertilized. If the egg has not been fertilized, the endometrium degenerates to exit the body during periods.
What is endometriosis? Risk factors
The condition affects more than a million in the USA, mostly the age group from 25 to 35 years. However, as many women do not suffer from symptoms, the accurate prevalence cannot be estimated. This condition rarely affects postmenopausal women. Some of the other risk issues for endometriosis comprise being white (as opposed to Asian or African American), thin and tall with low BMI, infertility and delay of pregnancy to an older age.
While the exact reasons for endometriosis cannot be ascertained, there are various theories. Experts are confirmed that endometriosis is caused due to the effects of estrogen, the hormone which is effective during a woman’s childbearing years. Some other causes of the condition include:
- Retrograde menstruation: This leads to deposition of endometrial tissue in unusual locations due to menstrual flow which backs into the abdominal cavity and fallopian tubes.
- Ceolomic metaplasia: If someone wants to know ‘what is endometriosis,’ they should know about its symptoms. In ceolomic metaplasia, the regions which line the pelvic areas have a few cells which may grow into different kinds of tissues like endometrial cells.
- Surgical treatment: Endometrial tissues may be transferred directly outside the uterus or womb during a cesarean section or episiotomy.
- Circulatory and lymphatic systems: The endometrial cells travel through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream to far places like the brain and areas located distantly from the pelvis.
- Problems in the immune system: The human body when faced by immunity problems cannot identify and destroy the tissues and cells which grow in areas where they are not supposed to grow.
Some common symptoms of endometriosis include pain in your pelvic areas, vagina, lower back and rectum, pain during sex, on bowel movements, through ovulation etc. Other symptoms include heavy periods, bleeding between periods, blood in the stool or urine, bleeding following sex, infertility, constipation or diarrhea. The condition of ‘what is endometriosis’ can be treated medically and surgically.