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Tanning Beds Can Raise The Risk Of Endometriosis In Women, New Study Reveals

Tanning Beds Can Raise The Risk Of Endometriosis In Women, New Study Reveals

Scientists have revealed that tanning bed sessions could cause a higher risk of women developing endometriosis as well as skin cancer.

A new study from the University of Arizona found that sun beds and exposure to UVA ultraviolet light can increase the chances of developing a malignant melanoma as well as endometriosis.

The researched showed an increase in risk the more young women used tanning beds or had used sunscreen and got sunburnt during their teenage and young adult years.

Tanning beds could potentially lead to endometriosis (Credit: PA Images)
Tanning beds could potentially lead to endometriosis (Credit: PA Images)
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Endometriosis can be an incredibly painful long-term condition, which sees tissue similar to the lining of the womb growing in the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Symptoms of endometriosis include pain in the lower stomach, back or pelvis, pain during and after sexual intercourse, and severe period pain.

Interestingly, researchers also discovered that women living in areas with high levels of natural UVB ultraviolet light throughout the year were less likely to be diagnosed with endometriosis.

Natural sunlight is mainly UVB rays, which boost vitamin D leading to better immunity and suppresses inflammation.

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UVA rays could be linked to endometriosis (Credit: PA Images)
UVA rays could be linked to endometriosis (Credit: PA Images)

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Sunbeds use mainly UVA rays, which are known to damage cells and adversely affect immunity.

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Women who lived in the sunniest areas at birth, at age 15 and at 30, had a 19 per cent, 21 per cent and 10 per cent reduced risk of endometriosis respectively compared to women living in parts of the US with the least annual sunshine.

This means that four women in 100 might develop endometriosis if they lived in parts of the country with the highest UV levels at the age of 15, compared to nearly six in 100 if they lived in areas with the lowest UV levels, researchers found.

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The study also found that compared to women who never used tanning beds, those who used them six or more times a year when they were teenagers and young adults had a 19 per cent increased risk of endometriosis.

If they used them six or more times a year between the ages of 25 to 35, they had a 24 per cent increased risk, and if they used tanning beds three or more times a year throughout both periods of their lives, they had a 30 per cent increased risk of endometriosis.

Endometriosis can be a chronic condition (Credit: Pexels)
Endometriosis can be a chronic condition (Credit: Pexels)

Professor Leslie Farland, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Public Health, who led the research, said: "Prior research into the long-term health consequences of endometriosis has suggested that women with endometriosis are at greater risk of melanoma.

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"While the exact mechanisms underlying the association between endometriosis and melanoma are not known, several studies have found a greater risk of endometriosis in women who are sensitive to sunlight, don't tan easily and have red hair, light eyes, freckling or a high number of moles.

"These associations may reflect a common genetic background between endometriosis and melanoma, or an underlying association between sun exposure and risk of endometriosis."

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: Endometriosis, Life News, Life

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Kimberley Bond

Kim is a journalist at Tyla, and has previously worked at the Evening Standard, Radio Times as well as several national newspapers. A showbiz obsessive and a television fanatic, Kim is particularly interested in celebrity gossip, A-list events and the latest releases on either the big or small screen. Contact her at [email protected]