Natren Probiotics

What is Endometriosis

"What is it"

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrium) grows in other areas of the body, causing pain, irregular bleeding, and possible infertility.

The tissue growth (implant) typically occurs in the pelvic area, outside of the uterus, on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and the delicate lining of the pelvis. However, the implants can occur in other areas of the body, too.

  • Painful periods
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic cramps that can by felt for a week or two before menstruation
  • Pain in the lower abdomen felt during menstruation (the pain and cramps may be steady and dull or quite severe)
  • Pain during or following sexual intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time during the menstrual cycle
  • Premenstrual spotting
  • Problems getting pregnant (infertility)
Note: Many times there are no symptoms. In fact, some women with severe cases of endometriosis have no pain at all, while some women with mild endometriosis have severe pain.

Treatment depends on the following factors:
  • Age
  • Severity of symptoms
  • Severity of disease
  • Whether you want children in the future
Painkillers may be prescribed to relieve cramping and pain.

Treatment 1: Hormone treatment may involve stopping the menstrual cycle and creating a state resembling pregnancy. This is called pseudopregnancy. It can help prevent the disease from getting worse. It's done using birth control pills containing estrogen and progesterone.
  1. Take the medicine continuously for 6 to 9 months before stopping the medicine for a week to have a period. 
  2. This does not prevent scarring from the disease. 
  3. It also does not reverse any physical changes that have already occurred. 
  4. Side effects include spotting of blood, breast tenderness, nausea, and other hormonal side effects.
  5. Side effects may be bothersome and include depression, weight gain, and spotting of blood.
  6. Some women may be prescribed medicines that stop the ovaries from producing estrogen. These medicines are called gonadotropin agonist drugs and include nafarelin acetate (Synarel) and Depo Lupron. 
  7. Potential side effects include menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and early loss of calcium from the bones. 
  8. Because of the bone density loss, this type of treatment is usually limited to 6 months. In some cases, it may be extended up to 1 year if small doses of estrogen and progesterone are slowly given to reduce the bone weakening side effects.
Treatment 2:  Surgery (either laparoscopy or laparotomy) is done to diagnose endometriosis. At the same time, a surgeon can do conservative surgery to treat areas of endometriosis. The goal of surgery is to remove or destroy all of endometriosis-related tissue and adhesions, and restore the pelvic area to as close to normal as possible. Rarely, nerve removal (neurectomy) may be done to relieve the pain.
Women with severe symptoms or disease who do not want children in the future may surgery to remove the uterus ( hysterectomy), both ovaries, both fallopian tubes, and any remaining scar tissue or implants. Hormonal replacement therapy may be needed after removal of the ovaries.

Each month a woman's ovaries produce hormones that stimulate the cells of the uterine lining (endometrium) to multiply and prepare for a fertilized egg. The lining swells and gets thicker.
If these cells, called endometrial cells, implant and grow outside the uterus, endometriosis results. Unlike cells normally found in the uterus that fall off during menstruation, the ones outside the uterus stay in place. They sometimes bleed a little bit, but they heal and are stimulated again during the next cycle.

This ongoing process leads to symptoms of endometriosis (pain) and can cause scarring and adhesions of the tubes, ovaries, and surrounding structures in the pelvis.

The cause of endometriosis is unknown, but there are a number of theories. One suggests that the endometrial cells (loosened during menstruation) may "back up" through the fallopian tubes into the pelvis, where they implant and grow in the pelvic or abdominal cavities. This is called retrograde-menstruation.

Other theories include:
  • A faulty immune system causes menstrual tissue to implant and grow in areas other than the uterine lining
  • Cells lining the abdominal cavity may develop endometriosis
  • Genetic influence
  • Environmental
Endometriosis is a common problem. Although endometriosis is typically diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 35, the condition probably begins about the time that regular menstruation begins.

A woman who has a mother or sister with endometriosis is six times more likely to develop endometriosis than the general population. Other possible risk factors include:
  • Starting menstruation at an early age
  • Frequent menstrual cycles
  • Periods that last 7 or more days
Sufferers may also suffer from the following:

Allergies to foods (dairy/gluten)
Allergies to pollen, dust, and perfume
Knee issue
Back/Neck issues

Tests and Diagnosis:
Tests that are done to diagnose endometriosis include:
  • Pelvic exam
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Pelvic laparoscopy
How well you recover, rebuild, and accept,  can be the change, that changes everything for their better. 

It is unknown what the exact cause is and therefore hard to say what will help, here are some options:
  1. Hormone treatments may help to prevent or slow down the development of the disease.  
  2. Removing the endometriosis may offer temporary relief, however, the cells can still develop if you decide to keep your ovaries or ovary.
  3. Act Naturally...change the environment your body is currently living in, from the inside out.  
  • Identify what calms you... (meditation, yoga, journaling, running, swimming, working out, hobbies, etc)
  • How much of your day do you give back to yourself?
  • How much of your day goes to the service of others?
  • Simplify
  • Clean out your closet
  • Put your files in order
  • Take inventory of the foods you eat, supplements and other products that you use as a topical on your skin.  
  • Play with children and animals, remember what it was like to be a child
  • Laugh, laugh, laugh
  • Recycle your energy -  how does what we consume effect everyone in the process of it's creation, what does it take from the Earth?  What can we do to give back to it?  How can we learn to become self sufficient?
  • Journal your thoughts, your conversations can be the most fulfilling 
Infertility may result from endometriosis.  Endometriosis has been known to come back even after a hysterectomy. Other complications are rare. In a few cases endometriosis implants may cause blockages of the gastrointestinal or urinary tracts.

When to contact the doctor:
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of endometriosis occur, or if back pain or other symptoms come back after treatment of endometriosis.

Screening for endometriosis should be considered if your mother or sister has been diagnosed with endometriosis or if you are unable to become pregnant after trying for 1 year.

Informational Video on "Endometriosis"

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of I'm Holistic, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experiences of I'm Holistic. I'm Holistic encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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