Endometriosis Definition. Symptoms and Causes

Endometriosis definition

Definition of endometriosis

Endometriosis is caused by the presence of endometrial tissue that abnormally grows outside the uterus, that is to say in the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, the ligaments, the intestine and the bladder. The growth sometimes penetrates inside the tissues of these parts of the body. However, with less frequency, this tissue can enter by migration ofcoelmic metaplasia towards other locations in the body such as the lungs, the heart, the brain, the eyes, the elbow or the knee. Once this endometrial tissue has been implanted it responds to the natural hormonal cycle, and then its bleeding within the body begins; and as well as that, as it lacks a drainage channel, it is frequently the cause of inflammation, pain and infertility. 

Symptoms and theories on the origin of endometriosis

There are many theories as to the cause of endometriosis, although some are object to controversy. Amongst the theories of the origin of endometriosis are: 

1.- the theory of implantation (retrograde menstruation) 

2.- the embolic theory (lymphatic and vascular). 

3.- Coelmic metaplasia 

4.- Mixed theories. 

Nobody dares to explain why this disease appears, or why some women suffer pain while others don't have any pain. 

There are a whole range of symptoms manifested among women. 

The most common symptoms are:

  • Pain before and during the menstrual period (more intense than menstrual cramps). 
  • The pain of ovulation. 
  • Pain during or after sexual intercourse. 
  • Possible infertility, an abundant amount of bleeding or irregular bleeding. 

Other symptoms indicated by women comprise of: 

Fatigue, depression, painful urination and defecation, lumbar pain during the menstrual period, diarrhea, constipation and intestinal disorders. Some women with visible endometrial proliferations do not suffer pain; Others, with a small amount ofproliferation, suffer paralyzing pain. 

Investigations made at the University of Chicago have proven that women have to wait an average of ten years before being diagnosed, since their symptoms are generally thought to be exaggerations and they are rejected, under-estimated or ignored by general practitioners. 

In compliance with the greater part of literature, endometriosis is said to attack between 7.5 % and 10 % of the population of menstruating women, although it has also been recorded to be between 4 % and 17 % of this population. Endometriosis is frequently characterized as a disease suffered most commonly by white middle-aged and middle class women. This piece of information was published by the British Medical Journal in 1980, although the evidence in support of this affirmation proceeds fundamentally due to clinical experience, rather than of investigations made, so that contradictions remain. 

Endometriosis and infertility

Endometriosis is said to be associated with infertility. Investigations carried out show that between 30 % and 70 % of women being investigated for infertility are found to be suffering from endometriosis, and between 30 % and 40 % of these patients are unable to conceive. Although for a long time, infertility has been believed as being caused by endometriosis, there is no conclusive evidence that endometriosis really causes infertility and this is not the only cause of pelvic pain. 

More investigations have to be carried out in this field, in order to discover if women with endometriosis have certain sub-clinical deficiencies in common. 

For more information see:

Treatment of diseases with natural medicine