While the exact causes of endometriosis remain unknown, strong evidence has suggested that it is indeed hereditary. It’s highly possible that the reason you have endometriosis is that it was passed down through your genes.
Because of the ties between endometriosis and genetics, it is important for women to have a good sense of their family’s medical history. If your mom, sister, aunt or even grandmother has been diagnosed with or has shown signs of endometriosis, there is a chance that you could have it too.
By staying proactive, advocating for your health and finding tools and resources, like endometriosis specialists, early diagnosis is possible. Learn more about the tie between endometriosis and genetics, and how treatment can help increase your quality of life.
Stay Proactive, Research Your Family History
From endometriosis to more common disorders, researching your family’s medical history allows you to take action steps to reduce risk, and/or get the help you need. When researching your family’s history, you should go back as far as three generations.
Not sure where to start? The easiest way to get information on family medical history is by talking with your relatives about their medical problems. Once you have collected this information, it’s important to share with your doctors regularly.
Inheriting Endometriosis from Maternal and Paternal Sides
When discussing health and medical history with your family, specifically endometriosis, don’t leave out the paternal side of your family. Researchers believe you can inherit endometriosis from either maternal or paternal sides. If you learn that your grandmother, mother or sister has been diagnosed with endometriosis, it’s important to understand that your risk is much higher. Studies show that those with endometriosis in their family tree are 5 to 7 times more likely to be diagnosed.
The Genetic Factors of Endometriosis
Endometriosis is thought to have a genetic predisposition. This means that based off genetics, some women are more likely to get it than others. A study reported in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology determined that endometriosis clusters in families, and suggested that the inheritance occurs in a polygenic/multifactorial fashion. Researchers speculate that multiple genes, as well as environmental factors, may play a role in the inheritance of endometriosis.
How do I know if I have endometriosis?
There are a few main symptoms of endometriosis to watch for. These include mild to severe pain or cramping in the pelvic area, cramping in the lower back, buttocks and/or legs, heavy periods, and spotting or bleeding between menstrual cycles, diarrhea before or with menses, or pain with intercourse. It’s also important to understand that some women with endometriosis don’t experience any pain or symptoms at all. The absence of pain/symptoms is one major reason to keep a tab on your family’s medical history.
By being aware, you can advocate for your health before symptoms arrive or become more severe. If you are experiencing any kind of symptoms or have been made aware of endometriosis in your family, it’s important to speak with your doctor or an endometriosis specialist.
Knowing Family History Can Help with Early Detection
Learning about your family’s medical history can help with the early detection of endometriosis.
Women often wait, on average, seven or more years to be diagnosed. Staying educated, advocating for one’s health and early diagnosis is critical in improving the quality of life for those who have endometriosis. By knowing your family’s medical history, recognizing symptoms and seeking medical support, you can reduce the immediate impact of endometriosis.
Showing Signs of Endo? Take Action Today
If you’ve been show signs or symptoms of endometriosis, including period pain and/or infertility, and know it’s something a family member has struggled with, trust your gut and get help now. If you have tried to see a provider who’s only suggestions were hormonal treatment, just get pregnancy or this is something you need to deal with, it’s in your head, it may be time to find an endometriosis specialist. Finding a specialist may mean the difference between lifelong pain and feeling healthy.
There’s a chance someone in your family (your mom or grandmother) may have endometriosis without even realizing it. If you take action, and advocate for your health, there’s a chance you may also be answering years’ worth of questions for a loved one. Don’t take no for an answer, get the help you deserve.
The Kaldas Center is here to help you take control
Whether you have been experiencing symptoms for years, or you haven’t experienced a single symptom yet but recently learned of endometriosis in your family history, the Kaldas Center is here for you.
We know diagnosis can be frustrating, but we urge you to not give up. We are one of the few endometriosis specialists in the country, and we are ready to help you with treatment and relief. Call the Kaldas Center today at 920-886-2299.