Stress and Endometriosis: What’s the Connection?
The uterine lining, or lining of the womb, is known as the endometrium. The endometrium is shed during a woman’s normal monthly cycle. In women with endometriosis, there is endometrial tissue located outside the uterus, which also responds to the monthly cycle by swelling, breaking down, and bleeding. However, there is no exit path for this displaced tissue and as a result, women with endometriosis may experience considerable pain, especially during menstruation. This condition also affects maternity health, as it may contribute to infertility. Las Vegas residents can hear more about endometriosis by watching this featured video or consulting an Ob/Gyn at Southern Hills Hospital.
The Ob/Gyn in this video explains that the cause of endometriosis is not yet known, although there are several theories. Chronic or severe mental stress is not considered to be a cause of endometriosis. However, recent research has explored whether stress may exacerbate the symptoms of endometriosis in women who have already been diagnosed with the condition. A study presented to the American Physiological Society involved inducing female rats with endometriosis. One group of rats had endometriosis and underwent stressful swim tests, another group had endometriosis and did not swim, and the control group did not have endometriosis and did not swim. After two months, the researchers determined that the stressed rats with endometriosis displayed the greatest increase in inflammatory mechanisms. Of course, this is preliminary research, not definitive evidence of a possible link between stress and endometriosis.
It never hurts to practice good stress management, whether or not a woman has endometriosis. Women might also consider speaking with their doctors about their risk of endometriosis, which includes having a family history of the condition and having children at an older age.
Women throughout Las Vegas can count on Southern Hills Hospital for exceptional women’s health services, including compassionate maternity care. Our community hospital also serves residents of Las Vegas with unrivaled stroke care, geriatric psychiatry services, and orthopedic surgery. If you would like to request a referral to an Ob/Gyn at our hospital, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 880-2700.