| Tara Langdale
Endometriosis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment - What Causes Endometriosis & How to Treat It
If you're living with endometriosis, you may be suffering from severe pain and want to know why. Endometriosis is when the endometrial tissues that usually line the inside of the uterus grow outside. The extra tissue is sometimes referred to as endometrial implants and can grow in the following:
- Fallopian tubes
- Muscles that support the uterus
- Outer surface of the uterus
The misplaced endometrial tissue functions similarly to normal endometrial cells. During each menstrual cycle, the tissue thickens, breaks down, and bleeds. It can become provoked and develop into scar tissue. The endometrial tissue can also form dark-colored ovarian cysts on the ovaries. All of which can lead to mild to severe abdominal pain and menstrual cramping.
What Causes Endometriosis?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the exact cause of endometriosis isn't known. It's one of the most confusing hormonal and immune diseases. However, the causes of endometriosis are thought to be connected to one or more of the following theories.
Retrograde Menstrual Flow
Retrograde menstruation or transtubal migration theory is by far the most commonly cited reason for causing endometriosis by healthcare providers. The Endometriosis Association describes retrograde menstruation is when blood backs up through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis.
Doctors say that retrograde menstruation isn't unusual and happens to some degree for all women with monthly menses. Yet, endometriosis researchers believe that women with heavy retrograde flow may have an increased risk for the condition.
The backward blood flow can accumulate endometrial cells in the abdomen. If they grow, the cells can cause pelvic pain and infertility. However, not all research supports retrograde menstrual flow with increased risk for endometriosis. It may only be one of the other factors that cause endometriosis.
Female Sex Hormone — Estrogen
According to the Mayo Clinic, high levels of estrogen may increase the risk of endometriosis. High levels of estrogen is referred to as estrogen dominance. This occurs when estrogen is high compared to progesterone, resulting in a hormonal imbalance.
Common signs of estrogen dominance are weight gain, menstrual cramps, hot flashes, and endometriosis. Treatments for a hormonal imbalance usually include progesterone supplementation and dietary and lifestyle changes.
Research indicates that the cause of endometriosis may be hereditary. While determining how true hasn't been defined, some studies show that endometriosis occurs in familial patterns.
A large study in Iceland looking at family members going back 11 centuries found an increased risk for endometriosis if a sister or a cousin had the condition as well. However, it may be one of the different factors causing endometriosis.
One theory that may result in endometriosis is surgical transplantation. This is when endometrial cells are transplanted into the uterus after surgery, such as a cesarean or c-section. When this happens, the endometrial implants may continue to grow, resulting in pain and developing endometriosis.
Another theory for what causes endometriosis is the use and production of environmental toxins, such as herbicides and pesticides. PCBs and Dioxins fall into this category, and when absorbed by the body, they may damage the immune system.
The chemicals can contaminate the food chain and then build up in the human body after exposure. Once this happens, the theory suggests that the immune system has a hard time breaking down endometrial implants, resulting in scar tissue and severe pain.
Endometriosis Risk factors
Women with endometriosis may not be able to determine the exact cause, but certain risk factors may boost chances, including:
- Short or irregular menstrual period
- Heavy menstrual period
- Never getting pregnant
- Runs in families
- Low body weight
- Recurrent urinary tract infection
If you have endometriosis symptoms and any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor about possible treatments.
Treatment for Endometriosis
The National Institutes of Health outlines that endometriosis treatment usually includes pain medication, surgery, or hormone therapy. However, other natural methods, such as vaginal dilators and homeopathic solutions, can help manage the pain.
The surgical procedure uses laparoscopy to remove endometrial implants without removing the sexual organs. It's the most common minimally invasive surgery, according to medical advice. However, it may not always work, and women may need additional surgeries.
Managing endometriosis can be done with different medications. For example, hormonal imbalances can be treated with estrogen and progesterone supplementation or birth control pills.
Women may take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to manage the pain as well. Using medication is a standard treatment, but it can come with some side effects.
Many women who suffer from Endo also have other pelvic pain conditions that cause painful intercourse such as Vaginismus or Vulvodynia. Vaginal dilators are proven to help ease pelvic pain from scar tissue buildup in the pelvic cavity. This natural solution is one of the best treatment options for pelvic floor therapy at home. Vaginal dilators don't have any side effects, other than some minimal pain as you learn to use them for treatments.
Vaginal dilators are inserted slowly into the vagina to stretch and lengthen ligaments and dissolve scar tissue. As the scar tissue breaks down, fresh oxygenated blood revives vaginal tissue and naturally eases endometriosis pain. The medical devices come in graduated sizes, making insertion easy and pain-free.
If you have symptoms of endometriosis, you may need to request an appointment with your gynecologist or doctor. During the meeting, you may need to undergo a pelvic exam, an ultrasound, or even have an endometrial biopsy to determine whether you have endometriosis and the possible cause.
There are different stages of endometriosis, and depending on what stage you're in will determine the next steps. It's essential for your mental and reproductive health that you begin the healing process before experiencing any complication of endometriosis.
Endometriosis symptoms are painful and affect women's health. What causes endometriosis exactly isn't known, but many theories exist that may help direct your treatment. Vaginal dilators are a non-invasive solution for many women with endometriosis.
Do you need to order vaginal dilators so you can start your pelvic floor therapy process? Made in the USA. Visit www.vuvatech.com
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Tara Langdale Schmidt is the inventor of the VuVa Dilator Company. She has pelvic floor dysfunction herself and wanted to create a dilator set that is made in America that women can trust. VuVatech has been in business since 2014 and has helped over 50,000 women all over the globe. She patented the Neodymium Vaginal Dilator, that is clinically proven to help with blood flow and nerve pain.