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There are usually no discernible symptoms of retrograde menstruation for most women. Moreover, this condition is common and occurs often. This condition is simply described as backward flow of some menstrual blood. Instead of exiting the uterus and the vagina, the blood moves up the fallopian tubes and deposits in the abdomen. This is usually harmless, but doctors do think it might be one of the potential causes for endometriosis in a small percentage of women.
If any symptoms of retrograde menstruation exist, they might include reduced menstrual flow and shorter periods. Alternately, absence of bleeding with normal period signs, like cramping, irritability, bloating and skin changes, might suggest the condition. In most cases, the backward and forwards flow are simultaneous, and any retrograde flow can’t be observed.
A few women who pay careful attention to menstrual cycle behavior see slightly less flow or may have a period that is a little shorter. This might be especially noted if women perform inverted and twisting yoga poses while menstruating, which can cause backflow. On the other hand, most women experience at least a little retrograde menstruation, and the majority of them don’t practice yoga.
When people ask questions about the symptoms of retrograde menstruation, they may really be inquiring into the symptoms of endometriosis. This is a condition that causes endothelial cells, which make up the lining of the uterus, to migrate to other parts of the body and spread. Since menstrual blood contains these cells, when they are deposited in the abdomen instead of in the vagina, it might cause growth of endothelial tissue outside of the uterus.
The symptoms of endometriosis, which aren’t always apparent at first, can include pain in the pelvis, lower back, and lower abdomen, and irregular, heavy periods. Some women suffer diarrhea or constipation. Due to scarring the cells may create as they spread, fertility can be impaired, too.
It can’t be assumed, however, that endometriosis is a complication or even one of the symptoms of retrograde menstruation. This still might be an area worthy of inquiry, especially for women with endometriosis. Some physicians have suggested that slight surgical corrections to the fallopian tubes may reduce the amount of endothelial cells deposited in the abdomen.
Most women should not be concerned about whether they currently experience or will develop this condition. Still, it makes good sense to tell physicians about serious pelvic pain, repeated missed periods or significant changes in menstrual cycle behavior. These may indicate other conditions, too, like pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, vaginal infections, or pelvic inflammatory disease.