What are the Causes of Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial tissues grow outside of the uterine wall, such as ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic cavity, and in worse cases in the intestine, rectum, bladder, vagina, cervix, and vulva. This disorder commonly occurs in women of the reproductive age. Common symptoms of this disorder include inflammation of the pelvic area, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bowel problems, constipation, ovarian cysts, and infertility.
Although numerous symptoms of endometriosis are known, exact causes are still unknown. Researchers blame estrogen for the aggressive spread of endometriosis in a woman's body. At best, doctors can control the production of estrogen in women to relieve them of the symptoms of endometriosis as there is no treatment available that can cure this disorder completely.
Possible Causes of Endometriosis in a Woman
- Retrograde Menstruation: In this condition, the menstrual blood with endometrial cell flows back into the pelvic cavity through the fallopian tubes, instead of exiting the body via the vagina. The displaced endometrial cells enter the pelvic cavity and get stuck to the pelvic wall, surrounding other pelvic organs in the course. These cells continue to grow, thicken and shed themselves via bleeding in this area during each menstrual cycle.
- Transformation of Peritoneal Cells to Endometrial Cells: According to the induction theory, experts explain that due to hormonal or immune factors the peritoneal cells (that is, the cell lining the interior of the abdomen) are transformed into endometrial cells, and thus they display the characteristics of these cells.
- Transformation of Embryonic Cells to Endometrial Cells: Sometimes, estrogen transforms the embryonic cells (those cells that are in the early stage of development) into implants of endometrial cells during puberty.
- Previous Surgery: After surgeries, such as a C-section or hysterectomy, there are high chances of endometrial cells to attach to the surgical incisions and grow in these areas. This is also one of the main causes of endometriosis.
- Vascular and Lymphatic Transport: Fragments of endometrial tissues may be transported via the lymphatic system or blood vessels to other parts of the body. The endometrial cells then attach themselves to other organs and start growing there.
- Genetic Reasons: Researchers propose that immediate relatives of the women affected by endometriosis are more likely to suffer from this disorder.
Thus, endometriosis occurs in women due to the above-mentioned reasons. Infertility and ovarian cancer are some complications caused by endometriosis.