What causes cramps after menopause?
Cancer of the uterus (endometrial) is one of the most common gynecological cancers. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue from other parts of your body grows inside your own organs such as your womb or ovaries. These abnormal growths can cause painful symptoms like severe menstrual periods, heavy bleeding, pelvic pain and even infertility.
The causes of endometriosis include:
Genetic mutations that lead to increased risk of developing the disease.
Chemical exposure during pregnancy, which may have caused changes in the mother’s immune system.
Obesity, smoking and stress can all increase your chances of having endometriosis.
Other conditions such as diabetes, obesity and chronic liver diseases can also contribute to the development of endometriosis.
Endometriosis is not always life threatening but it can affect your quality of life if left untreated. If you suspect that you have endometriosis, see your doctor immediately.
How does endometriosis develop?
In women with endometriosis, cells called ‘endocervical epithelial cells’ grow outside the walls of the uterus (womb). These cells are similar to the cells that form the lining of the womb (endometrium) and regenerate each month during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
During your monthly cycle, these cells are shed and pass out of your body as part of your period. If these cells are present in other parts of your body, such as on the ovaries or Fallopian tubes, they also degenerate during your period.
However, if these cells are present in places outside of your uterus they have no way of leaving your body, and this causes inflammation and pain. This can lead to complications such as infertility, miscarriage and problems with your reproductive organs.
Some women experience pain during their menstrual cycle every month because of endometriosis. Others do not experience any pain at all. Severe cases of endometriosis can also cause anemia and a loss of appetite.
Who is at risk of developing endometriosis?
Although anyone can develop endometriosis, there are some factors which can increase your risk of developing this disease. For example, women who start their periods at an early age (before the age of eleven) have a higher risk of getting endometriosis.
Family history can also contribute to an increased risk of developing endometriosis. If your mother, sister or daughter has had endometriosis, you are more likely to develop it as well.
However, most cases of endometriosis occur randomly and not all women who have one or more risk factors develop the disease.
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