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Night Shift Work Linked to Menstrual Irregularities and Endometriosis

Previous studies have shown that night shift work disrupts the natural rhythm of cancer-related genes, increasing cancer risk. A recent study shows that night shift work is also associated with menstrual irregularities and an increased risk of endometriosis in women.


In addition to night shift work, staying up late is becoming more and more severe among contemporary young women. Staying up late actively or passively has become the norm for many people because of overtime work, playing games, brushing up on short videos, etc.


There is growing evidence that cancer is more prevalent among night shift workers, which prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer to classify night shift work as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" in 2019.


The study found that night work disrupts the natural rhythm of cancer-related genes, delaying the expression of cancer-related genes and making night workers more susceptible to DNA damage while also reducing the efficiency of repairing this damaged DNA.


A study presented at the recent 23rd European Congress of Endocrinology (e-ECE 2021) showed that night shift work in women is associated with menstrual irregularities and an increased risk of endometriosis.


Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition in women in which active endometrial cells are implanted in locations other than the endometrium (such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes). Endometriosis affects approximately 10% (190 million) of women and girls of childbearing age worldwide. However, the condition varies for different women, with some women having mild symptoms but others being severely affected.


Endometriosis can be very painful for severely affected women due to its effect on the pelvis, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus. It can lead to infertility, miscarriage, and ectopic pregnancy.


On the other hand, this study shows that circadian rhythm disturbances in women working night shifts are associated with irregular menstruation and an increased risk of endometriosis and ovarian tumors.


A research team led by Prof. Eva Kassi from the University of Athens, Greece, studied 27 female patients diagnosed with ovarian endometriosis and examined the expression of biological clock-related genes in both in situ and ectopic endometrial tissues.


The researchers found that the expression of biological clock-related genes was altered in ectopic endometrial tissues compared to normal endometrial tissues, specifically by decreased expression of PER-2, CRY-1, and CLOCK genes and increased expression of REV-ERBb genes.


It is the first clinical evidence that circadian rhythm disorders may be associated with endometriosis. It was confirmed at the tissue level by local alterations in biological clock gene expression in ectopic endometrium. The finding provided a better understanding of natural rhythm disorders. It contributes to an understanding of the causes and effects of endometriosis and helps improve the prevention and treatment of endometriosis.


The paper on the study has not yet been published, and the exact details of the study are not yet known. The research team said that the causal relationship between these altered patterns of biological clock gene expression and the development of endometriosis needs further study.


Night shift workers often face significant health risks, from increased risk of metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, and mental illness to increased cancer risk. And they usually do not receive enough attention and research from the medical community.


In addition to night shift work, staying up late is becoming more and more severe among contemporary young people. Working late, playing games, brushing up on short videos, etc., actively or passively staying up late has become the new normal for many people. And staying up late can also lead to circadian rhythm disorders.


These two studies remind people that circadian rhythm disorders caused by night shift work and staying up late are associated with an increased risk of cancer, menstrual disorders, and endometriosis. They also provide new avenues for the prevention and treatment of cancer and endometriosis. It also warns people that staying up late can do far more damage to the body than people previously knew.


In turn, patients need to receive professional treatment as soon as possible after suffering from endometriosis to avoid infertility. Surgical treatment is often used, but patients are generally afraid of developing sequelae, post-operative infections, or complications. Herbal medicine Fuyan Pill can also be a good option for patients. It is a natural medicine that does not cause any side effects to the body, and it can improve the body's resistance and pelvic health. After long-term treatment, it can help women with endometriosis and related inflammatory diseases.


Recommended Readings:


Herbal Medicine For Endometriosis

All endometriosis symptoms can be cleared up with fuyan Pill

Is the Endometriosis Pathogenesis Unknown? How Complicated is It?


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