Endometriosis is a disorder in which the lining of the uterus (endometrial tissue) grows outside of the uterus, most typically in other areas of the pelvis, but in rare cases as far away as in the lung, spine, and brain. This condition is often painful and can be debilitating. It is still not well understood by many doctors, and patients often end up receiving multiple treatments before consulting with surgical specialists in endometriosis to receive the treatment they need to improve their quality of life.
The endometrial tissue in endometriosis thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle just like the lining of the uterus. However, this tissue has no way to exit the body and so it becomes trapped. The tissue around endometriosis lesions becomes irritated and develops scar tissue and adhesions (bands of tissue that can cause tissues and organs to stick together). This can be quite painful and can cause other symptoms that sometimes seem unrelated to the menstrual cycle. Localized growths of endometriosis lesions on the ovaries are called endometriomas, or chocolate cysts.
The true prevalence of this disorder is unknown since diagnosis requires a surgery called laparoscopy to visualize and biopsy endometrial lesions. It is thought that about 10% of reproductive-aged women have endometriosis.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic and lower back pain, which can occur any time during the cycle but is often worse just before and during menstruation. Other symptoms include diarrhea, constipation and abdominal bloating around menstruation, heavy/irregular bleeding, and fatigue. Infertility is another symptom associated with endometriosis. Up to 40% of women with endometriosis struggle with infertility.
The cause of endometriosis is still unknown. The retrograde menstruation theory began in the 1920’s and was widely accepted for many years. This is the idea that menstrual tissue flows backwards through the fallopian tubes and deposits on the pelvic organs where it seeds and grows. However, this does not explain many facets of the disease and most endometriosis experts now reject this theory. Some of the other theories about cause include metaplasia, genetic disposition, lymphatic or vascular distribution, immune system dysfunction, and environmental influences. To learn more about these, and for a reputable website about endometriosis in general (including treatment and support) visit https://endometriosis.org/
There is no known cure for endometriosis. Doctors have traditionally offered hysterectomy as a “cure,” but it does not guarantee relief. Surgery for endometriosis is surgeon dependent. If ALL the endometriosis is not removed the patient may still have endometriosis after this procedure. The current gold standard surgery for endometriosis is called laparoscopic excision, in which the implants are cut out. Some doctors offer ablation, which is when the implants are burned off, but the rate of recurrence after ablation is much higher than it is after excision. Other treatments that can help manage the symptoms of endometriosis include hormone therapies like the birth control pill or Mirena IUD and hormonal medications that strip the body of estrogen and mimic menopause, called GnRH agonists.
Endometriosis is a complex, often life disrupting disorder. Bio-Touch is an extremely effective, non-invasive complementary treatment to help manage the pain, stress and other symptoms that occur with this disorder.