Few weeks back I wrote a post on unexplained infertility, wherein I mentioned that a disease condition like endometriosis can be hidden from general tests. Hence majority of such infertility problems with females are termed as unexplained infertility. In addition to infertility, endometriosis can also lead to disruption of normal life due to terrible pains that often come before and during the menstrual cycle . So what is this endometriosis and how can it be treated?
What is Endometriosis?
Most women have heard of endometriosis and many have at least a general concept of what it is. Stress definitely has a role in endometriosis, as do most chronic diseases, but let’s go back to the basics. Endometriosis, in the simplest possible terms, is tissue from the uterine lining growing where it shouldn’t. During healthy menstruation, women shed their endometrial lining, or the endometrium, each month. The material is expelled from the body as part of the monthly menstruation. While many women would probably like to bypass this inconvenient and sometimes painful monthly routine, it is the key to life itself.
However, in women with endometriosis, cells from the uterine lining have migrated from where they’re supposed to be — inside the uterus — to other parts of the body, most often within the pelvic area, on the bowel, bladder, ovaries and the outside of the uterus. It’s sometimes called retrograde menstruation. Rogue endometrial tissue has been known to migrate as far as scar tissue on the arms and legs.
This condition is a common, poorly understood, and extremely debilitating benign gynecologic condition. The psychologic impact of the severe pain experienced by the patient is compounded by the negative impact of the disease on fertility.
This misplaced tissue develops into growths that respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way the lining of the uterus does. Triggered by hormonal signals, the tissue builds up and sheds each month.
While menstrual blood flows out of the body through the cervix and vagina, endometriosis tissue and the cells it sheds have no way of leaving the body. Trapped between layers of tissue, they cause inflammation, scar tissue, adhesions and bowel problems. Endometriosis can lead to intense pain and reproductive difficulties.
In the typical patient, the ectopic implants are located in the pelvis (ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, cervix, or uterosacral ligaments or in the rectovaginal septum) and manifest as severe dysmenorrhea, chronic pelvic pain, or infertility. More unusual implantation sites (laparotomy scars, pleura, lung, diaphragm, kidney, spleen, gallbladder, nasal mucosa, spinal canal, stomach, breast) can be responsible for bizarre symptoms such as cyclic hemoptysis and catamenial seizures.
Stress enters the picture to cause uterine tension and toxicity, often prompted by poor lifestyle choices and worsened by nutrient deficiency-especially magnesium. Cycles of stress and deficiency create a pattern of hormonal imblance throughout the body and in some women focus on the uterus. Specifically in endometriosis, uterine muscle tension and spasm in the fallopian tubes, due to magnesium deficiency, can contribute to uterine blood and tissue migration.
Risk factors for endometriosis include:
- Family history of endometriosis
- Early age of menarche
- Short menstrual cycles (< 27 d)
- Long duration of menstrual flow (> 7 d)
- Heavy bleeding during menses
- Delayed childbearing
- Defects in the uterus or fallopian tubes
- Hypoxia and iron deficiency may contribute to the early onset of endometriosis
Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis may include:
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into your period and may include lower back and abdominal pain.
- Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
- Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.
- Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia).
- Infertility. Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
- Other symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.
The severity of your pain isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of the extent of the condition. Some women with mild endometriosis have extensive pain, while others with advanced endometriosis may have little pain or even no pain at all.
Treatment of Endometriosis:
While conventionally, doctors insist that the cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is no cure, it can be relatively simple to treat and control the symptoms. The standard medical treatment involves taking synthetic hormones, such as the birth control pill, that stops menstruation and therefore stops the buildup of blood and endometrial tissue outside the uterus. But homeopathic way of approaching endometriosis is much kinder to the body and address an underlying problem that certainly relates to the condition.
You can visit any competent Homeopath in your area or speak to us at Welling Homeopathy to know how we offer a gentle and complete treatment for endometriosis.