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Endometriosis: What Is It and How Can It Be Treated?

Endometriosis: What Is It and How Can It Be Treated?

You may have heard of endometriosis, but not much is widely known about it. We’re here to change that.

Endometriosis is a widely experienced but often misunderstood condition, which debilitates one in ten women globally at some point in their lives. That is a shockingly high statistic and more awareness around this issue is desperately needed, which is why March has officially been declared Endometriosis Awareness Month. 

Many women experience discomfort while menstruating, but for women who have endometriosis, the pain doesn’t necessarily stop when the blood stops flowing. Despite this, the condition is often dismissed as minor and not taken seriously, which is why so many women suffer in silence each month as they are simply not diagnosed correctly or early enough.

Read on to find out more about what causes endometriosis, the physiological and psychological impacts of it, how it is diagnosed, and how it can be treated. 

 

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium — or the lining of the uterus —grows in places it shouldn’t, such as the bladder, the bowels, the stomach, the ovaries, and even the diaphragm. They continue to grow and thicken and this can cause many debilitating issues such as frequent infections and irritable bowel syndrome, not to mention excruciating pain. The effects are not only internal though.

The pain and suffering caused by endometriosis can impact all aspects of a woman’s life, from her appearance and physical and mental health, to her work, social and sex life. The latter relates to a condition which endometriosis can cause known as dyspareunia, or pain during intercourse.

Women of reproductive age suffer from endometriosis. This age begins at teenagers to women in their 40s and it usually comes with painful and heavy periods. It can also be genetic. Endometriosis is widely misunderstood even by healthcare workers, and women often feel shamed for needing treatment for the condition as it is wrongly believed to be over-exaggerated and even attention-seeking.

 

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

Symptoms vary from woman to woman and can be any of the following:

·         Pain in lower abdomen or back (pelvic pain) - which is usually worse             during menstrual period

·         Pain during or after sex

·         Pain when urinating or when moving bowels during menstrual period

·         Fatigue

·         Weight gain

·         Irregular periods

·         Bleeding between periods

·         Feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in urine or stools during menstrual period

·         Difficulty getting pregnant

·         Feelings of anxiety and depression often accompany the other symptoms

·         Inability to perform normal daily activities due to severe pain

 

How does endometriosis affect women mentally? 

Living with chronic pain can increase your stress level and affect your ability to remain functional in your responsibilities at work, at home, and in your personal relationships.

In addition, the hormone imbalance with endometriosis can increase the likelihood that you’ll experience mood swings. Women with endometriosis generally have higher levels of estrogen than women without endometriosis. Estrogen is an important hormone that plays a role in regulating your menstrual cycle and mood, but when estrogen levels are too high, hormone imbalance develops. Recent studies suggest that having endometriosis makes women more likely to suffer depression and anxiety.

 

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

For diagnosis, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and you might undergo one or more tests such as:

·         Rectal examination

·         Vaginal examination

·         Ultrasound scan

·         Magnetic Resonance Imaging

·         Diagnostic laparoscopy where a small tube with a camera are inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to observe the  pelvic space for any endometrial lesions


What is the recommended treatment for endometriosis? 


It is possible to treat endometriosis holistically, such as with Perfectly Healthy's Female Fertility Tonic, which is a natural ovulaton and fertility booster which will help keep your periods regular, correct hormone imbalances, support healthy uterine function, strengthen ovarian health and boost fertility. If your endometriosis causes you to have fibroids, we recommend using Perfectly Healthy's Female Fibroid and Cyst Tonic, which naturally shrinks & removes fibroids & cysts to restore female reproductive &general health. It will help prevent uterine polyps, fibroids and cysts which can lead to polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis, and help relieve painful menstrual cramps.

          

Diet also plays a part in treatment, and there are some ways to improve your diet to treat endometriosis: 

  • Increasing your consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids which help to reduce inflammation, and are found in fatty fish such as pilchards and salmon
  • Cutting out foods which tend to cause inflammation, such as processed foods, gluten and sugars
  • Minimising the consumption of red meat and increasing intake of fruits, vegetables and wholegrains
  • Tumeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and one study found that tumeric might inhibit a form of estrogen known as estradiol. This may help to prevent growths. 

If you have tried natural remedies, including Perfectly Healthy's Female Fertility Tonic or Fibroid and Cyst Tonic, but have experienced no relief, then it may be time to see your doctor and try other methods. The doctor would most likely recommend treatments which may have more negative long-term side-effects such as painkillers and hormone treatments, and possibly even a surgical procedure known as Minimally Invasive Endometriosis Surgery. 


Are fibroids linked to endometriosis? 


Recent studies suggest that endometriosis and symptomatic uterine fibroids do appear together, in about 26% of women. Both endometriosis and fibroids are issues affecting the uterus, but they take different forms.

You won’t know for sure, however, until your physician performs either a pelvic exam or an imaging test such as ultrasound. It is worthwhile to understand what is the difference between fibroids and endometriosis in order to get a better grasp on your health, explain your symptoms to your physician, and pursue a treatment plan that will alleviate any symptoms.

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