And because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing sace tissue and adhesions. The cause of endometriosis is unknown. One theory is that the endometrial tissue is deposited in unusual locations by the backing up of menstrual flow into the fallopian tubes and the pelvic and abdominal cavity during menstruation; also called retrograde menstruation.
Another possibility is that areas lining the pelvic organs possess primitive cells that are able to grow into other forms of tissue, such as endometrial cells. Another cause of endometriosis might be the direct transfer of endometrial tissues during surgery and may even be seen in surgical scars. Transfer of endometrial cells via the bloodstream or lymphatic system is the most likely explanation for the rare cases of endometriosis that has develop in the brain and other organs distant form the pelvis.
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Research by the Endometriosis Association revealed a startling link between dioxin exposure and the development of endometriosis. Endometriosis affects women in their reproductive years. The exact prevalence of endometriosis is not known, since many women may have the condition and have no symptoms at all. While most cases of endometriosis are diagnosed in women aged around 25-35 years old, endometriosis has been reported in girls as young as 11 years old.
Most women who have endometriosis, in fact, do not have symptoms; the most common symptoms are pain before and during periods, pain with sex, infertility, fatigue, painful urination during periods, and painful bowel movements during periods. Pelvic pain however depends partly on where the implants of endometriosis are located. Endometriosis can be one of the reasons for infertility for otherwise healthy couples. Endometriosis can be suspected based on symptoms of pelvic pain and findings during physical examinations in the doctor’s office.
Unfortunately, neither the symptoms nor the physical examinations can be relied upon to conclusively establish the diagnosis of endometriosis. Tests to check for physical clues of endometriosis include: Pelvic exam, ultrasound, and laparoscopy. Treatment for endometriosis is usually with medications or surgery. The approach you and your doctor choose will depend on your age, severity of symptoms, severity of disease and whether you want children in the future.
There are also hormonal therapies used to treat endometriosis like: hormonal contraceptives, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, danazol, medroxyprogesterone, aromatase inhibitors, conservative surgery and hysterectomy. Endometriosis is more common in infertile, compared to fertile women. However, the condition usually does not fully prevent conception. Most women with endometriosis will still be able to conceive, especially those with mild to moderate endometriosis. It is estimated that up to 70% of women with mild and moderate endometriosis will conceive within three years without any specific treatment.