Almost every woman is familiar with unpleasant abdominal cramps that appear several days before menses.

But sometimes pain in the lower abdomen may become unbearably severe, making it hard to perform your daily activities.

There is a wide variety of conditions, which can be responsible for your painful cramps. One of the most common of them is endometriosis.

According to statistics, approximately 11% women of childbearing age in the US suffer from this disease.

Every month your ovaries release hormones that cause swelling and thickening of the uterine lining. During the periods, your womb sheds it and removes together with blood through the vagina.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Sometimes cells that normally line inside the uterus may spread out of their natural location. They can reach your ovaries, bladder, rectum and other parts of your body. This condition is called endometriosis.

Even though these abnormally-located endometrial cells don't shed like normal uterine lining, they still react to the reproductive hormones, grow and bleed during menstruation.

Nobody knows exactly, what really causes this disorder. Specialists have different theories to explain endometriosis developing.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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It's possible that this disease occurs as a result of retrograde menses, when blood with endometrial cells runs into the fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity instead of flowing through the vagina. This leads to sticking cells into the pelvic organs.

Some specialists affirm that endometriosis happens because of transformation of abdominal lining (peritoneal cells) or mutation of the embryonic cells.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Another theory supposes that blood vessels or lymphatic system may spread endometrial cells to other body areas.

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It was also found that certain risk factors may significantly increase your risks of getting endometriosis. The most common of them include decreased body mass index, hormonal imbalance, shorter menstrual cycles and never giving a birth to child.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

If you're one of those with endometriosis, you may suffer from extremely painful cramps, which start before your periods and continue several days into the menses. In addition to this, women with this disorder often complain of pain during intercourse, heavy menstrual bleeding, constipation, uncomfortable urination and bloating.

It's really important to get examined, if noticed these symptoms in yourself. Remember that endometriosis may boost your risks of infertility, pelvic cysts and even ovarian cancer.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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Credit: BetterMe