Endometriosis is a hereditary trait. According to a study published in the Oxford Journals, genetic predisposition increases the risk of incidence in women who have an affected first degree relative.
According to WebMD, endometriosis is a gynecological disorder characterized by the growth of endometrial tissues outside the uterus. The extra growth of endometrium often occurs in the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, the outer uterine wall and the organs in the belly. The tissue growths are also called implants and, in rare cases, they can also occur in areas beyond the belly.
The most common symptoms of endometriosis are pain and infertility. Often compared to cramps experienced during menstruation, the intensity of pain can range from minimal to severe. Symptoms include menstrual cramps, pelvic pain, pain during sexual intercourse, and pain during defecation and urination. The pain, however, does not correlate with the stage and severity of the disorder.
An estimated 30 to 50 percent of women suffering from endometriosis experience infertility and in some cases it is the only sign that a woman has the condition. There are also secondary symptoms associated with the disorder, including unpredictable bowel movements, blood in the stool, irregular periods, chronic fatigue, headaches and low-grade fevers.
The exact cause of endometriosis has not been determined. Some possible explanations include retrograde menstruation, embryonic cell growth, endometrial cell transport and immune system disorder.