What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus grows in places it shouldn’t, like the ovaries, fallopian tubes and bowel. This tissue responds to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle. It builds up and then sheds just like it would in the uterus but because it can’t leave the body, it becomes trapped and leads to excessive inflammation and severe pain.
Besides debilitating period pain, women with endometriosis often experience painful ovulation, pain during sex, fatigue and difficulty or delays in falling pregnant.
How is it diagnosed?
The only way to diagnose endometriosis is by laparoscopy. A laparoscopy is performed by a surgeon who makes small incisions in the abdomen and inserts a tiny camera that allows them to inspect the reproductive organs for abnormal tissues growths and remove them if possible.
How can it effect fertility?
Endometriosis can cause a build up of scar tissues on the reproductive organs, reducing the natural movement within the fallopian tubes and obstructing the pathway of the egg and sperm. The increased amount of inflammation in the pelvic area can have a negative effect on the delicate environment that is required the for fertilisation, implantation and development of a healthy embryo.
How can Acupuncture and Chinese medicine help?
In Chinese medicine the belief is that when the your system is returned to a state of balance, your body is free from pain and can function as nature intended. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is an amazing natural alternative for treating the symptoms of endometriosis and improving fertility!
These are just some of the effects it can have on the body:
promotes the release of endorphins (the body’s own pain killer)
increases blood flow to the pelvis
relaxes the muscles and restores healthy movement in the reproductive organs
reduces inflammation and moderates the immune system
balances hormone and regulates the menstrual cycle
In addition to herbs and acupuncture, endometriosis (and fertility) can be improved by a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Fuel your body with delicious hormone regulating foods like leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables and healthy fats from avocado, nuts, fish and olive oil. Avoid the foods that cause inflammation, such as refined sugar, gluten, processed foods and dairy.
As well as proper nutrients, our bodies needs adequate time to reenergise, regenerate and heal. Getting enough sleep and managing stress is essential. Sleep and self-care is not a luxury. It’s a necessity and participating regularly in relaxing and enjoyable activities, such as yoga, meditation and getting out into nature, should be just as important as brushing your teeth or paying the bills.