What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a gynaecological condition that affects 6-10% of women (within the reproductive age) globally. How does endometriosis come about? The female body has endometrial tissue consisting of blood cells, connective tissue, and glands. Typically, the tissue grows in the uterus in preparation for ovulation. But in rare circumstances, endometrial tissue may develop outside the uterus in different body parts especially around the pelvic area (fallopian tube, ovaries, peritoneum, and lymph nodes).
Despite its misplaced location, the tissue upholds its biological function by bleeding, thickening, and breaking down during menstruation. The outcome is displaced tissue that cannot be expelled. This results in physical symptoms such as the formation of cysts, scarred tissue, and adhesions. Unfortunately, the disorder can lead to severe complications including infertility problems and ovarian cancer. Therefore it is very important to successfully diagnose and treat this disorder.
What Causes Endometriosis?
Although the exact cause of this condition is unknown, there are numerous risk factors such as:
- High levels of oestrogen
- Having your menstrual periods earlier than usual
- Uncharacteristically short menstrual cycles
- A family history of endometriosis
- Medical conditions related to the reproductive system
- Low body mass index
What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
Endometriosis will often present itself in a wide range of symptoms that are similar to other conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Ovarian Cysts and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Common symptoms include:
- Dysmenorrhea (painful periods) accompanied by long-term lower back pain
- Urination and bowel complications including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and pain
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Excessive and prolonged menstrual bleeding
- Fatigue, nausea, and vomiting
Diagnosis and Treatment of Endometriosis:
When should you visit a doctor? If you experience symptoms that suggest a possibility of endometriosis, see a medical professional as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of the disorder is crucial in the better management of symptoms.
Upon visiting a health clinic, the doctor will conduct a variety of tests to identify physical clues – there is no single test. In conventional institutions, expect a combination of surgical laparoscopy, pelvic examination, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasound. If a patient is diagnosed with endometriosis, Western medicine treatments include hormone therapy, pain medications, fertility treatment, and surgery if all other options are not effective. However, most of these interventions are both costly and may have adverse side effects on the health of a patient.
How may acupuncture treat endometriosis?
Acupuncture is an inexpensive, safe , non-invasive, and natural treatment for endometriosis. The ancient Chinese practice has been shown to be effective, and it has significantly fewer side effects than conventional medicine. A scientific study (1) published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that acupuncture was a more effective treatment for endometriosis than conventional hormonal drug therapy.
When you visit a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinic, the practitioner will conduct personalised tests and develop an individualised treatment plan. According to TCM, diseases are caused by imbalances in our body. For endometriosis, possible imbalances include damp heat stagnation, spleen and liver qi stagnation, and blood stasis.
Fill in our online questionnaire for free – and save the $135 it would cost you to do this detailed medical history in person with a practitioner. You can request a phone call from a practitioner after they have read your online form, or just book the 30 minute initial exam for $40. Call us on 07 846 7956 to book, or fill in the questionnaire now.
- Narvekar, N., Cameron, S., Critchley, H. O., Lin, S., Cheng, L., & Baird, D. T. (2004). Low-dose mifepristone inhibits endometrial proliferation and up-regulates androgen receptor. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 89(5), 2491-2497.