The presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus (abnormally located) is called endometriosis. Endometriosis presents a growing concern for millions of women.
It is estimated that five to twenty percent of women of childbearing age are affected by this painful and fertility robbing condition. In gynecologic operations, endo is found in anywhere from 20-50 percent of the time. Terrible pain, abnormal menstruation and infertility are the most common complaints. It can be debilitating.
Endometrial tissue outside the uterus may attach itself to ovaries, ligaments in the pelvis, fallopian tubes, abdomen and old scarred areas. Endometrium aka uterine lining is supposed to be contained on the inside lining of the uterus. When it is found outside the uterus (endometriosis) it is much more dangerous than it sounds.
Endometriosis is still somewhat of a mystery but predisposition to it may come from:
- Hormones play a large factor as the sites seem to lessen during pregnancy when progesterone is higher.
- When endometrial tissue outside the uterus is found in a younger woman, getting pregnant as soon as possible is usually recommended.
- Women who have children in younger years seem to be less likely while women who have postponed childbearing seem to have a higher instance.
- The average age is usually beyond 35 but the age ranges are from 25 to 40ish. These are approximate age ranges.
- It is extremely uncommon for endometriosis to occur outside of menstruating years.
The most common theory regarding how endometriosis occurs is that the tissue transports during menstruation. Some believe that xenoestrogens have a part. It is commonly believed that an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone, such as in estrogen dominance, is a large factor.
Where endometriosis implants itself will determine the amount of pain and symptoms. The endo spots can grow and bleed as well as cause scarring which form fibrous adhesions in between the pelvic and abdomen. This becomes terribly painful with bowel movements; especially during menstruation.
Because endometriosis is so difficult to diagnose it is usually not found until other tests have been completed. A laparoscopy is usually required to identify it. Some statistics say that up to 50% of infertile women may have endometriosis.
Some symptoms at least common to endometriosis may be:
- dysmenorrhoea, even more suspected if menses was previously pain free.
- dyspareunia – painful intercourse
- lower abdominal or rectal pain
- metrorrhagia or menorrhagia may occur
Surgery is a choice for more severe cases.
Herbs and progesterone have been indicated to a certain degree depending upon how severe the case:
- Balancing hormones with Vitex has been very affective.
- Uterine tonics are helpful on endometrial tissue.
- Anti-spasmodics and anti-inflammatories can help to ease muscle pain which is elevated by the condition.
- Nervine herbs can help with the stress and pain.
Individual body systems are a good target:
- Target the Reproductive System with hormonal balance and cleansing.
- Cleansing the Circulatory System and Liver of toxins
- The Lymphatic System may be overloaded and require draining through cleansing and detoxifying.
- The Excretory System should be flushed so that elimination is normal and healthy.
Progesterone derived from wild yam (dioscorea villosa) is the common natural alternative as well as Vitex / Chaste Tree Berry (agnus castis) See also Female Hormone Balance
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