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Health Spotlight: New cause for endometriosis

New cause for Endometriosis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Endometriosis is a condition that happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Researchers don’t know exactly what causes the painful condition, but a new study is shedding light.

About one in every ten women will experience a painful condition called endometriosis during their reproductive years. It happens when tissue similar to the uterus lining grows outside of the uterus.

“Since it’s not supposed to be there it creates a lot of inflammation, and inflammation ultimately leads to pain and scar the tissue,” said dr. Latasha murphy, a gynecological surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

That pain can be extreme.

“I would say cycle pain times a hundred. It is extremely unbearable, the type of pain people with endometriosis endure,” said Dr. Murphy.

While scientists don’t know exactly what causes endometriosis, a recent study offers new clues. Researchers found that 64% of patients with endometriosis also tested positive for a common bacteria called fusobacterium, which typically lives in the mouth and gastro tract. Less than 10% of the participants without endometriosis tested positive for it.

Some other risk factors for endometriosis include having a family history of the disease, being diagnosed with an immune system problem, having too much of the hormone estrogen, and undergoing an abdominal surgery, such as a C-section. Retrograde menstrual flow is another likely cause.

“Some of that tissue flows out of the fallopian tubes into the pelvis,” said Dr. Murphy.

Some ways to lower the risk of endometriosis include being pregnant, breastfeeding, having the first period after age 14, and eating fruits, especially citrus fruits.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.