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Endometriosis is a condition where menstruation tissue called endometrium is found outside the womb. The menstruation tissue outside the womb can cause bleeding and inflammation, leading to severe menstrual cramps and pelvic pain.
Hence, endometriosis is the most common cause of severely painful menstruation. Over time, the inflammation can also distort the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries, causing infertility.
There are 3 types of endometriosis depending on its location:
There are different stages of endometriosis, ranging from Stage I to Stage IV.
Generally, Stage I endometriosis refers to cases with minimal lesions, while Stage 4 endometriosis refers to cases with large ovarian cysts, deeply infiltrating endometriosis, and dense pelvic anatomy distortion.
As each stage may have mild to severe symptoms in itself, and each stage may have varying degrees of infertility, staging of endometriosis is now seldom used.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is painful menstruation.
Women with endometriosis may also have the following symptoms:
Learn more about painful periods and endometriosis.
The true cause of endometriosis remains unknown. Common theories regarding the cause of endometriosis are:
The general consensus regarding the cause of endometriosis is gradually moving away from the retrograde menstruation theory, and in favour of the cell change and epigenetic immunologic theory.
Some factors increase the risk of endometriosis. These include:
As endometriosis is an inflammatory condition, adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle can help reduce the impact of endometriosis.
An anti-inflammatory lifestyle includes:
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