National Endometriosis Awareness Month

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Did you know that March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month?

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is defined by the United States government as “a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body”. (Source: MedlinePlus) The results can be abdominal pain, irregular and extreme menstruation, and infertility.

What symptoms do I look for?

  • Painful periods
  • Premenstrual pain that lasts for 1-2 weeks before the period
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Lower back and pelvic pain

MedlinePlus also mentions that some women with endometriosis have no symptoms.

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

Most diagnoses are first through a woman’s annual pelvic exam.  See?  GET YOUR ANNUAL EXAMS!  If the doctor has reason for concern, he may order a transvaginal ultrasound and/or a pelvic laprascopy.

What treatments are there for endometriosis?

If the symptoms are mild or pain is nonexistent, the doctor may prescribe exercise, yoga, and massage.

If pain is mild, the doctor may prescribe pain medicine.

If the doctor fears that the endometriosis may get worse or further complicate her health, he may prescribe hormonal medication. Hormonal medication can reduce growth of cells outside the uterus. Some hormone therapy is as simple as a birth control pill.  In the case of large areas of endometriosis that interferes with a woman’s quality of life, the doctor may prescribe a surgical procedure to remove overgrown areas, and in extreme cases, may remove the entire uterus and ovaries.

What are the further complications associated with endometriosis?

Endometriosis can interfere with the quality of a woman’s life, especially if she is in extreme pain two or more weeks out of the month. Sometimes, endometriomas develop in cases of endometriosis. These are large cysts that can form outside the uterus. If not removed, they can rupture, which is life-threatening.

“Christine” says that she is “fortunate to have found the FertilityCare System,” or Creighton Model. The Creigton Model researches and finds answers within the woman’s menstrual cues. Christine’s treatment included surgery to remove lesions, and supplements to help her cycle. In surgery, the doctors even found that her fallopian tubes were closed due to cysts and lesions, and helped repair them. Rheir hope is that Christine will be ready for a pregnancy in nine months. To find a Creighton Model doctor, search the FertilityCare Center’s website  .

Are there any alternative treatments available?

Western medicine assumes that there is no cause of endometriosis. Eastern medicine would argue that the problem comes in a disturbance in the body’s “qi,” or natural blood flow.  Juliette Aiyana, of Aiyana Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs in New York, uses treatments of acupuncture and various herbs to help treat endometriosis. You can read more on this philosophy and her practice at her Amazing Healing website. To find a certified acupuncture and oriental medicinal professional, look for a practitioner on the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine website.

SML Tip:  For more information on endometriosis and for support, go to the Endometriosis Support and Research Center website.

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