During a regular menstrual cycle, your body sheds the lining of your uterus. This allows menstrual blood to flow from your uterus through the small opening in the cervix and out through your vagina.
The exact cause of endometriosis isn’t known, and there are several theories regarding the cause, although none of these theories has been scientifically proven.
Although the exact cause of endometriosis is not certain, possible explanations include:
In retrograde menstruation, menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of out of the body. These endometrial cells stick to the pelvic walls and surfaces of pelvic organs, where they grow and continue to thicken and bleed over the course of each menstrual cycle.
Transformation of Peritoneal Cells.
In what’s known as the “induction theory,” experts propose that hormones or immune factors promote transformation of peritoneal cells — cells that line the inner side of your abdomen — into endometrial-like cells.
Embryonic Cell Transformation.
Hormones such as estrogen may transform embryonic cells — cells in the earliest stages of development — into endometrial-like cell implants during puberty.
Surgical Scar Implantation.
After a surgery, such as a hysterectomy or C-section, endometrial cells may attach to a surgical incision.
Endometrial Cell Transport.
The blood vessels or tissue fluid (lymphatic) system may transport endometrial cells to other parts of the body.
Immune system disorder.
A problem with the immune system may make the body unable to recognize and destroy endometrial-like tissue that’s growing outside the uterus.
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue resembling that which grows in the uterus develops in other areas of the body. It can lead to tissue damage and pain, and it can affect fertility.
There is currently no cure for endometriosis, but there are ways to relieve the pain and discomfort. Some people may need surgery.