March is Endometriosis Awareness month. What is Endometriosis? How do you know if you have it?
Endometriosis is when cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body. These cells respond to monthly hormonal changes the same way as cells still inside the uterus, they grow, and sometimes even bleed a little along with the regular blood flow. This causes pain.
Endometriosis is often misdiagnosed, or undiagnosed. Endometriosis is known as the “unknown illness”, it affects over six million women and endometriosis can affect fertility later on in life. Endometriosis is a common gynecological diagnosis and most cases are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 35. If you are experiencing pain and heavy periods monthly tell your doctor. Detecting and treating endometriosis early can help with the future of your fertility and alleviate painful menstruation.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be great adjunctive treatments for endometriosis. Especially if you are looking for a natural, non-hormonal way to manage the symptoms.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
- Pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time during the menstrual cycle
- Lower abdomen pain before and during menstruation
- Painful periods
- Cramps for a week or two before menstruation and during menstruation; cramps may be mild to severe
- Pain with sexual intercourse; during or following
- Bowel movement pain
Doctors might prescribe birth control pills to help to prevent or slow down the development of the endometriosis. This sometimes masks the endometriosis. Some patients might need pain killers depending on the severity of the pain. Endometriosis is a long lasting illness and in some severe cases your doctor will recommend surgery. Laparoscopy is also a plan of action in some more severe cases, which removes the endometrial cells with a few small incisions. This does not remove it forever and symptoms can reoccur which might lead to more surgeries.
Overall, Chinese medicine is an excellent alternative to surgery or pain pills, and can be effective at preventing the further spread of endometrial cells.
Visit my website www.truehealthacu.com to learn more about acupuncture and Chinese medicine and schedule an appointment.