Is Endometriosis The Hidden Cause of Period Pain?
March is Endometriosis Awareness month and this is definitely a condition that needs greater recognition. Endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose and many women go years or even decades before they are properly diagnosed.
What is endometriosis?
In endometriosis, cells that normally line the inside the uterus (the endometrium) grow outside the uterus. These cells can implant outside of the uterus, the ovaries, the bladder, even the digestive organs. These endometrial implants bleed and can form scar tissue over time, causing pelvic pain, digestive problems and even infertility.
What is the cause?
There are many theories about the cause of endometriosis and there are likely several factors that contribute to the development of this condition. Environmental toxins, excess estrogen stimulation and genetics all seem to play a role. There is some evidence that certain woman are actually born with a type of endometriosis while others seem to develop it later on.
What are the main symptoms?
Endometriosis is often associated with intense period pain but this pain can occur throughout the monthly cycle. Pain may occur in the pelvis, in the abdomen or rarely in other parts of the body. Over 90% of endometriosis sufferers have digestive symptoms like bloating and bowel movement changes. Sometime the first sign of endometriosis may be unexplained infertility.
What is the best treatment?
Many women with endometriosis are treated with surgery, painkillers and oral contraceptives. And while these treatments can be very helpful to reduce symptoms, they do not necessarily correct the underlying imbalances associated with this condition. It's important to also address the entire system by reducing inflammation, improving pelvic circulation, balancing hormones and reducing the effects of environmental toxins.
Women with endometriosis often need support with stress management and sleep issues. Nutrition plays a key role in balancing inflammation, pain and hormones. Because internal scarring can form as a result of endometriosis, it's also beneficial to have hands-on therapy to help prevent excessive scar tissue formation and to keep organs like the uterus and ovaries free from restriction.
By using a well-rounded treatment approach, women can get real relief from symptoms like pain AND address the root cause so that they can start to rise above this serious and complex condition.
If you would like more information, please call us today and ask for Dr. Jessica Stefanski.