Learn About Ailments | Endometriosis


Endometriosis is a female condition which occurs when the tissue which lines the womb also forms in other areas of the body, typically the bladder and ovaries. There may be no symptoms, but more commonly pain is experienced in the lower back, abdomen and pelvic area.

In This Article
Did you know? Causes of endometriosis
Symptoms of endometriosis Diagnosis of endometriosis
Related endometriosis terms

•    In the UK, endometriosis affects 2 million women
•    Endometriosis costs UK industry nearly £3 billion per year due to sick days
•    30-40% of women with the condition are infertile
•    73% of women with endometriosis said the condition affected their relationships

There are a number of theories as to what causes endometriosis but the exact reasons for the condition are unclear.
One theory is that during menstruation, the womb lining flows back into the fallopian tubes rather than leaving as menstrual blood. The tissue attaches itself to the organs within the pelvis growing to become endometriosis. This process is known as retrograde menstruation and is believed to happen in most women but the majority are able to clear the tissue without any complications.

Endometriosis may also be hereditary and passed on through genes from the family. The condition is rare in Afro-Caribbean women.

Endometriosis may be caused when cells enter the bloodstream or the network of glands, organs and tubes that make up the lymphatic system which forms part of the body's natural defence against infection. This theory is based on evidence of endometriosis cells being found in the brain.

A dysfunction of the immune system may cause endometriosis meaning some women can't effectively fight the condition.

Another theory behind the cause of endometriosis is the ability for cells to change. This process is known as Metaplasia and is how the body can grow inside the womb. Some healthcare professionals believe endometriosis may develop during the formation of the baby's womb and retain the ability to alter cells later in life.

Many women don't experience any symptoms of endometriosis but those who do may find they vary. There are some common symptoms that include:

•    Periods that are painful
•    Heavy bleeding during menstruation
•    Pain around the pelvis
•    Pain felt during sex
•    Bleeding between periods
•    Lower back pain
•    Infertility
•    Subfertility (difficulty conceiving)

Other symptoms experienced with endometriosis are:

•    Difficulty passing urine
•    Blood from the anus
•    Blockage within the bowel
•    Blood produced when coughing

Symptoms will vary depending on where the endometriosis is within the body as opposed to the amount. Small amounts can be just as painful as large.

Should your GP suspect you have endometriosis they will refer you to a specialist for confirmation. This will be done using a laparoscopy examination under general anaesthetic..

During a laparoscopy, a small flexible tube with a camera on the end is passed into the body through a small incision in the naval (belly button) so the specialist can view the endometrial tissue. A biopsy (small sample) will be taken for testing and if necessary any tissue will be surgically removed.

Period pain
Pelvic cysts

Therapies to consider
Acupressure Aromatherapy Chinese Herbal Medicine
Hawaiian Massage Herbal Medicine Holistic Massage
Massage Naturopathy Osteopathy
Reiki Shiatsu Yoga


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