Endometriosis has been a poorly understood condition. Many women have spent years with painful menstrual cycles and remained clueless about what was causing the pain. The debilitating condition is caused when the endometrial tissue which usually lines your uterine cavity is found outside the uterus. It could be your ovaries, bowels, or any other tissue in the pelvis region. Just as the endometrial tissue responds to the fluctuation of hormones, this extra growth is also affected by these changes.
The long-ignored problem has attracted the attention of researchers who are trying to unfold the causes of the condition. A recent study in the quest to find a genetic component underlying endometriosis has found that there is a correlation between endometriosis and other inflammatory conditions.
The study 'The genetic basis of endometriosis and comorbidity with other pain and inflammatory conditions was published in the journal Nature Genetics. A research team from Oxford University conducted a wide genome study. Around 60,000 subjects were taken who had been diagnosed with endometriosis. The control group was composed of over 700,000 participants. The researchers matched the DNAs of the participant group with the control group. They identified nearly 42 genetic sequences that could be related to the development of endometriosis. This was insightful as the study suggested that the condition can have a genetic component to it which might give some understanding when it comes to its diagnosis and treatment. Interestingly, the study also found that there were some common genes that were associated with not just endometriosis but other conditions that cause chronic pain such as migraines (which again have its cause unknown), asthma, back pain and inflammatory conditions. As per experts, these findings can provide profound insight into these conditions and how they can be treated.
How can endometriosis be diagnosed?
As per studies, there is currently no blood test that can help diagnose endometriosis. Laparoscopy is another technique that has been used traditionally to diagnose the condition. However, the technique is invasive. As per experts, a combination of patient history and imaging tests like transvaginal ultrasonography and MRI can help diagnose the condition. As per reports, it usually takes a time interval of 4-11 years for a woman to be diagnosed with it and six out of ten affected people might remain undiagnosed.