Endometriosis is a problem suffered by women during the childbearing years. A type of tissue that lines the uterus and also growing outside the uterus, it causes pain and other symptoms. The clusters of tissue that are growing outside of the uterus are called implants and they grow on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the outer walls of the uterus, the intestines and organs of the belly. If you want to learn more about this condition, read here.
The tissue that lines the uterus is called endometrium. Every month the body will release hormones that will cause the endometrium to become thick and will be ready for an egg. If a woman gets pregnant, the fertilized egg will attach to the endometrium and will start to grow, but if there is no pregnancy the endometrium will break down and the body will shed it out as blood, known as the menstrual period.
In endometriosis, the implants of tissues found outside of the uterus will act like the tissue lining the uterus and during the menstrual cycle, they become thicker, break down and bleed. The implants are outside of the uterus, so the blood cannot go out of the body and they become irritated and painful. Oftentimes, they can form scar or sacs that are filled with fluid called cysts. This scar tissue makes it hard for woman to get pregnant.
Causes of endometriosis
- A retrograde menstruation which is a heavy bleeding or an abnormal structure of the cervix, uterus, or the vagina which causes too many endometrial cells going to the fallopian tubes.
- The immune system of the body
- Lymph fluid or blood carries endometrial cells to other parts of the body
- Endometrial cells that forms outside the uterus when they were a fetus.
Symptoms of endometriosis
- Severe menstrual cramps
- Pelvic and rectal pain
- Low back pain 1-2 days before the menstrual period
- Pain during bowel movements
A woman’s risk of having an endometriosis is higher for the following:
- A woman between puberty and menopause around the age 50.
- The mother or sister has or had suffered endometriosis and this risk seems to be passed on by the mother.
- The menstrual cycle is less than 28 days.
- Started menstruating before the age 12 and the menstrual flow is longer than seven days.
- Never been pregnant
- The uterus, cervix or the vagina has an abnormal shape that blocks or slows down menstrual flow.
Treatment and home remedies
- Apply hot compress to the lower belly or use a heating pad or a hot water bottle or take a warm bath since they improve the blood flow and minimizes pelvic pain.
- Lie down in bed and place a pillow under the knees, then lie on the side and bring the knees up to the chest in order to relieve back pressure.
- Use some relaxation techniques and biofeedback.
- Perform regular exercises to improve blood flow, it will increase the pain-relieving endorphins made by the body and minimizes pains.
- Sexual activity can help reduce cramping and backaches.