is retrograde menstruation normal?

I had a lap for appendicitis they wanted to take out my appendix and check my ovaries the surgeon said my ovaries were normal but I had retrograde menorrhagia and it was normal to have that however I went to a new docs yesterday and she said that she suspects I have endometriosis because of the retrograde menstruation I'm honestly so confused right now esp after first bring told it was completely normal

4 Replies

  • As far as I'm aware it is normal, but it is no longer believed to cause endometriosis. You either have it or you don't . If she suspects you have it then you need a referral to a gynaecologist preferably one at a BSGE centre where they are specifically trained for endo.

  • thank you for your reply😊 im being referred to a specialist gyne so hopefully will have more answers

  • Retrograde menstruation is merely a mechanical biological process of blood in the uterus backing up the fallopian tubes at period time and entering the pelvic cavity. It is thought that most women may experience this at some time or another but it may be influenced by excessively heavy periods and violent uterine contractions (as may be associated with hormone imbalance such as seen with endo) or uterine or cervical abnormalities that might obstruct normal flow and encourage back up, such as a bicornate uterus for example.

    The pathogenesis of endo is unknown so it is not known why some women develop it and others don't but it is an immune and endocrine disorder and some as yet unidentified abnormal process occurs to trigger it in women with endo. The blood that enters the pelvic cavity in retrograde menstruation will contain endometrial cells and the expert view is that this is the most likely source of tissue that become peritoneal endometriosis (the most usual form found in the pelvis). The endometrial cells of women with endo are very different to those of healthy women in ways that resemble endometriotic cells and the peritoneal fluid is different too in ways that encourage implantation. And so the evidence is that those women who develop endo already have the changes occurring in the endometrium before it is shed.

    But having retrograde menstruation alone is no indicator of having endo.

  • thank you for your reply 😊 I'm being referred to a specialist gynecologist so will hopefully have more answers through the tests they will be doing

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