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Sedentary Lifestyle Causes Endometriosis? Truth or Lie?

Whether for studying, working or living, in modern times, people cannot avoid sitting for a long time. Sitting is comfortable, but sitting for too long can extremely harm our health. The American Diabetes Association released guidelines in 2016 that set 90 minutes as the limit for sedentary behavior, and any time you sit for more than 90 minutes at a time is called sedentary. The World Health Organization (WHO) has long listed sedentary lifestyles as one of the top 10 deadly and disease-causing culprits.

Sedentary lifestyle and endometriosis

Some people say that sedentary behavior can lead to endometriosis in women. Is this statement the truth or a lie?

Endometriosis, a disease that often causes pain, is a condition in which the tissue grows outside the uterus. This tissue, also known as ectopic endometrium, is similar to the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus (the endometrium). Most often, it causes trouble to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic lining tissues. 

In rare cases, it may occur outside the area where the pelvic organs are located. The ectopic endometrium also thickens, ruptures, and bleeds each month during each menstrual cycle, just like normal endometrium, which is called endometriosis. But unlike the uterus, ectopic endometrial blood cannot be expelled from the body through the vagina.

The formation of endometriosis is associated with the following conditions:

1. Reflux of menstrual blood, i.e., blood containing endometrial cells entering the abdominal and pelvic cavities after menstruation through the fallopian tubes;

2. Postmenstrual blood containing endometrial cells entering the blood circulation or lymphatic circulatory system through blood vessels or lymphatic vessels;

3. The transformation of non-endometrial cells into endometrial cells induced by estrogen or other hormones.

Normally, menstruation arises from the endometrium, and menstrual blood carries the shed endometrial fragments out of the body through the vagina. However, under sedentary conditions, the menstrual blood containing endometrial fragments is obstructed and cannot flow out smoothly due to poor blood circulation. As new menstruation is being produced and the old menstruation cannot flow out of the body, the menstrual blood can only flow back into the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, and other pelvic areas. 

As a result, the endometrial fragments will also flow backward with the menstrual blood to the fallopian tubes, ovaries and other parts of the uterus in addition to the endometrium, and then endometriosis will occur.

It’s true that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to endometriosis. The most typical symptom of endometriosis is dysmenorrhea, which sometimes causes severe pain. Patients usually experience pain during or after sexual intercourse, heavy periods or disrupted menstrual cycles, and abnormal ovulation. Other symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, chronic fatigue, nausea and vomiting, headaches, low-grade fever, hypoglycemia, and even women infertility. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may also form.

The goals of endometriosis treatment are to reduce and remove lesions, relieve and control pain, treat and promote fertility, and reduce and prevent recurrence. Doctors will choose individualized treatment based on the patient's age, symptoms, signs, extent of lesions, and fertility requirements. It mainly includes expectant treatment, medication, surgery, and combined treatment.

In addition to Western medical treatments using progesterone and other ovarian estrogen-suppressing drugs, some traditional Chinese medical treatments or drugs also have good therapeutic effects. The nationally patented traditional Chinese medicine Fuyan Pill can kill all kinds of bacteria and viruses, eliminate lesions in gynecological tissues, and effectively treat inflammation of the cervix, uterus, ovary, etc. It can help endometriosis patients get rid of the pain immediately.

Recommended Readings:

At What Condition Can Endometriosis Develop?

What to Expect for Your Fertility After Endometriosis Surgery?

How to Sleep With Endometriosis Pain?

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