Chronic fatigue can be a symptom of endometriosis. An expert tells you more

Endometriosis doesn’t just cause severe pain during periods, but also causes fatigue. Is there a link between the two? Let’s find out now!
Endometriosis and fatigue have a link. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Prachi Benara Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 13:46 pm IST
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Endometriosis is a medical disorder in which endometrial tissue or lining of the uterus, which is normally present inside the uterus grows outside. It can commonly affect the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and inside of the pelvis. This tissue acts like the endometrial tissue as it thickens, breaks down, and bleeds with each menstrual cycle, and gets trapped inside the body causing scarring. 

This condition causes extreme pain and discomfort during periods, and long-term effects may include fertility problems. 

Endometriosis is a serious and painful condition. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are some of the symptoms and factors that lead to endometriosis?

Some common symptoms of endometriosis include pelvic pain, pain during bowel movements and urinating, excessive bleeding, and pain during periods. The long-term complications may result in infertility and, in rare cases, cancer. Though there isn’t a certain cause as to why endometriosis happens, some factors increase a woman’s susceptibility to the disorder. 

Retrograde menstruation, surgical scar implantation, embryonic cell transformation, and immune system disorder may explain why a patient develops endometriosis. Since the symptoms are easily mistaken as an effect of menstruation or general tiredness, it is crucial to watch risk factors closely.

Risk factors include:

  • Starting your period at an early age
  • Having a shorter menstrual cycle (about 27 days)
  • Heavy menstrual periods that last more than seven days
  • Never giving birth
  • Low body mass index
  • High levels of estrogen in the body

Endometriosis usually develops years after the onset of menstruation cycles and may go away after menopause; it might even get better during pregnancy.

Endometriosis can be treated either medically or surgically. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Some other symptoms include:

Chronic fatigue is also considered a common symptom of the disorder. However, it is now being treated as an acute symptom after a study in 2018 found out that the chances of women to suffer from fatigue doubles if they have endometriosis. Medical practitioners believe the human body gets fatigued due to the presence of inflammation, caused by the endometrial-like tissue that sets off a variety of immune responses. 

Also, read: Battling endometriosis? Make sure you don’t fall prey to these myths

Lifestyle changes that can help women lead a normal life:

  • Eating a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and healthy fat.
  • Avoiding processed food because of the high sugar content prevalent in them, they can make the blood sugar levels go haywire.
Quit or limit the intake of sugar. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  • People with other problems like anemia and thyroid problems should take their supplements and medicationsVitamin D supplements may also help improve fatigue.
  • Exercising can make you feel active and can help prevent sluggishness. 
  • Sleeping regularly and having a healthy sleep cycle can go a long way in helping control the symptoms.

There is a lot of research currently being done to find the correlation between fatigue and endometriosis. Still, these observations have given us reason to be aware and vigilant about when to see a doctor, in case you suffer from both the conditions. 

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About the Author

Dr Prachi Benara, Consultant — Birla Fertility & IVF MBBS (Gold Medalist), MS (OBG), DNB (OBG) ...Read More

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