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Is endometriosis inherited or sexually transmitted?

While the exact source of this condition is yet unknown, endometriosis is not a sexually transmitted disease.

There are many misconceptions regarding endometriosis. It is not an infectious disease; it is not transmitted from one person to another but instead generated by a combination of biological, genetic, and environmental elements.

Endometriosis is a condition that is described by the presence of tissue that resembles the uterus lining in other parts of the body. This happens when the tissue starts growing outside the uterus.

Common symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • pain: intestinal, in the lower back or pelvis, during or after sexual intercourse, when urinating or with bowel movements (which may contain blood), menstrual cramps
  • stomach or digestive issues: constipation, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, especially during periods
  • bleeding or spotting: heavy and frequent, but may also occur between menstrual periods
  • fertility troubles: not being able to get pregnant, or infertility

If you are diagnosed with endometriosis, your doctor will provide you with more details about your condition.

Endometriosis - a common disease

Endometriosis is a relatively common health problem. Statistically, it affects one in 10 women in their reproductive years, and it is prevalent in women in their 30s and 40s. The "reproductive years" are also called the menstruating years, and they refer to the period between the woman’s first menstruation and menopause.

You might be at significant risk for endometriosis if you find yourself in any of the following circumstances:

  • never had children
  • menstrual periods are longer than seven days
  • the menstrual cycle is shorter than 27 days
  • have a pre-existing health problem preventing normal flow during periods
  • have a first-degree female family member with endometriosis
  • started your period before age 11
  • are infertile

Other potentially damaging factors that might increase the risk of developing the disease include:

  • heavy alcohol use
  • unhealthy weight and diet
  • advanced age
  • lifestyle and environmental causes: stress, anxiety, exposure to pollution, and hormone-disrupting chemicals

    If you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis, you need to consult a specialist. This disease causes pain and requires intervention. Our gynecologists have vast experience in treating women with this condition, and they can offer you the most appropriate course of treatment.

    Infertility linked to endometriosis

    Doctors estimate about 5% of infertility cases are related to endometriosis, but the connection between them is not clear. Not all women with endometriosis are infertile, but 30% to 50% of infertile women are diagnosed with endometriosis.

    The success rate of pregnancy is correlated with the stages of endometriosis:

    • stages I and II: most cases of endometriosis are mild, but certain chemical alterations in these stages influence infertility. The immune system is producing cells that prevent ovulation and egg capture. The body creates an overall anti-fertility environment
    • stages III and IV: in cases of severe endometriosis, the risk of not getting pregnant is higher. If the ovaries are damaged with endometrioma (cysts) and covered in thick adhesions, the eggs are stuck and can't be fertilized. If the fallopian tubes are blocked by adhesions or scar tissue, the egg and the sperm can't meet, or the fertilized egg is prevented from moving down the tube. In this case, the risk of an ectopic pregnancy increases

    Endometriosis can affect both the ability to get pregnant and the early development of the embryo in approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of women with this condition. Acknowledging all this information can help women protect their health and fertility by not postponing the age of conception and by prevention instead of treatment.


    Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

    Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/