What is Endometriosis?
Do you want to know what is endometriosis? Or adenomyosis externa?
Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissues similar to the tissues that line the uterus grow outside the uterus. They may grow in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, bladder wall, intestines, or any other area in the pelvis, but they rarely grow outside the pelvis area.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder, wherein the tissues similar to the endometrium tissues act as normal tissues. And with each menstrual cycle, the tissues thicken and bleed, but since they cannot exit the body, they get trapped inside and cause severe pain for women with endometriosis.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Although many women suffer from cramps during menstruation, women with endometriosis describe period pain to be much worse the usual, and the pain might increase with time.
Symptoms of Endometriosis Include the Following:
- Severe pain: The pain occurs in areas in which the tissues grow, it might be in the lower abdomen, rectum, vagina, or lower back.
These pains occur before or during menstruation, after or during sexual intercourse, or during urinating or defecating (it is usual to have these symptoms during menstruation).
- Excessive bleeding: For some women with endometriosis, the bleeding during menstruation might be excessive, and they might find spots or bleed between menstruations, after sexual intercourse, or find blood with urine or stool.
- Difficulty conceiving/Infertility: Some women discover they have adenomyosis externa after taking a test because they cannot get pregnant.
- Other symptoms, such as diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, and nausea.
Diagnosing endometriosis can be confused with uterine fibroids or pelvis inflammation diseases. Therefore, you must see a specialist to diagnose your condition accurately.
Causes of Endometriosis
Although the definite cause of endometriosis is yet to be known, and specialists still do not know why endometrial tissues grow outside the endometrium, research proved that the hormone Estrogen might make the condition worse and more complicated. Wherein Estrogen level increases in women in their fertile years (from puberty until approximately 40 years old), therefore, we find that women in that age are more prone to endometriosis. On the other hand, the symptoms subside in menopause, since the female hormone (Estrogen) level decreases at this age.
- A disorder in the immune system.
- Retrograde menstruation: In this condition the menstrual blood flows against its natural direction, wherein endometrial tissues move backward towards the fallopian tubes and end up in the pelvic cavity instead of leaving the body.
- Genetic factors: Genetics play an important role in developing this disease; women who have a mother or a sister with endometriosis have a higher chance of developing it.
- A disorder in hormone secretion.
- Transformation of peritoneal cells: Known as “induction theory”, this theory suggests the possibility of developing this disease because of hormonal secretions from the uterus that transmit to areas outside the uterus. And due to its hormonal effect, it stimulates other tissues to transform into tissues similar to those lining the inside of the uterus.
- After Dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure.
The Risk Factors:
- Having the first menstruation at an early age (before 12 years old).
- Never giving birth.
- Having menopause at an early age.
- Short menstrual cycles: For example, less than 27 days.
- Increased Estrogen Level.
- Deformities of the reproductive system.
- Low body mass index.
- Having a relative (mother, aunt, or sister) or more with endometriosis.
- Any medical conditions that hinder the normal blood flow -during menstruation- outside the body.
Most Affected Areas with Endometriosis:
- The outer part of the ovary, or inside it.
- The outer part of the uterus.
- Fallopian tubes.
- The bladder.
- Colon or small intestines.
- Any part of the pelvis.
- Rarely affects the rib cage, lungs, or skin.
Does Endometriosis Cause Infertility?
Endometriosis is most common in infertile women, or those who have difficulty conceiving. Nevertheless, many studies indicate that women with endometriosis are able to conceive without any trouble. Especially if the disease was mild or moderate, and estimates indicate that almost 70% of women with mild or moderate endometriosis can get pregnant within 3 years without a specific treatment.
Does Endometriosis Increase the Risk of Cancer?
Some studies assume that women with adenomyosis externa have an increased risk for certain types of ovarian cancer, including epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The chance of developing this disease is higher in women with endometriosis, or primary infertility (women who did not conceive before). However, take into consideration that the link between endometriosis and EOC is still unclear!
One theory suggests that endometrial implants might become malignant (cancerous), while others suggest that endometriosis might be related to other genetic or environmental factors that increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Clinical diagnosis.
- Blood tests:
Some vital indicators in the blood like CA-125 have been broadly evaluated in diagnosing endometriosis, but were proven invaluable since other diseases also cause an elevated level of CA-125 test. Even though, an elevated level between 50 and 150 can be noticeably notice when having endometriosis.
- Tests and diagnostic analysis:
Blood tests and internal examinations are still inconclusive for diagnosing endometriosis because endometriosis has similar symptoms to other diseases.
You Can Confirm the Diagnosis by Doing the Following Tests:
- Sonography or Ultrasound scan:
Doing an ultrasound scan is the first method to help put a diagnostic and treatment plan for endometriosis.
Transvaginal ultrasound is usually used for diagnosing endometriosis in the ovaries, wherein the ultrasound can identify ovarian endometriomas. Note that using ultrasound does not enable the doctor to see and diagnose endometriosis in the early stages.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):
MRI scans are essential for accurately diagnosing and determining the spread and depth of endometriosis. Wherein an MRI scan provides a detailed evaluation of the stage of the disease. Especially when there are deep scars that cannot be identified with clinical diagnosis or laparoscopy. And MRI scans are usually used when a woman is thought to have deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE).
Laparoscopy is perfect for diagnosing endometriosis. For it enables the doctor to see its spread in the intestines and pelvis, and it is the only method to diagnose endometriosis.
Through laparoscopy, the doctor can explore the abdomen and pelvis by inserting a camera (laparoscope) through a small incision in the pelvis near the bellybutton. And the specialist would be able to see the inside of the pelvis and any endometrial implants or abscesses.
Endometriosis Relief Methods:
There are no successful medications in modern medicine to relieve endometriosis. However, Hekma Center provides an excellent, organic, and natural supplement package for endometriosis.
But some medications can help alleviate the symptoms, including:
- Painkillers, such as Ibuprofen, and paracetamol.
- Hormonal Drugs and contraception: combined contraceptive pills, contraceptive patches, intrauterine system (IUS), and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists.
- Surgery to remove parts of endometrial tissues.
- Surgery to remove a part or all organs affected by endometriosis, such as hysterectomy.
Organic, Natural Supplements:
The wellness supplements we provide at Hekma Center consists of herbs and 100% natural products, including the following:
Alchemilla Mollis, or Lady’s mantle, is chiefly a women’s herb. It is widely used for relieving period cramps, contractions, endometriosis, and leiomyoma.
This herb has many benefits, such as reducing pre-menstruation symptoms, and boosting fertility in women. It also plays a role in relieving endometriosis and reducing uterine fibroids.
Red clover, or Trifolium Pratense, is one of the oldest plants in the world, for it has been planted since ancient times. This flower is useful for many medicinal purposes, most importantly, relieving some women’s diseases (menopause signs), and cancer, especially throat cancer, pharyngeal cancer, and mouth cancer. It is also useful for regulating irregular menstrual cycles, and alleviating menstrual pain and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). As well as reducing irritability, depression, and pain.
This herb originated from China, and is distinguished by its prickly leaves and white flowers. It is called Angelica sinensis due to its numerous benefits. And it is rich in many vitamins like B12, and minerals like iron and zinc. Angelica sinensis is a medicinal plant useful for relieving many diseases since it acts as antimicrobial and antibacterial, and it helps protect against the spread of cancerous tumors, especially benign uterine fibroids. Moreover, it improves ovulation and relieves PCOS pain. As well as helping with many infertility cases in women, such as infertility due to endometriosis.
One of the most important benefits of this famous herb, is its ability to combat stress, anxiety, and depression, which are symptoms of endometriosis. This is due to Ashwagandha’s ability to reduce cortisol levels in the body, and because it contains natural sedatives that help with relaxation. Furthermore, it is useful for alleviating menopause symptoms in women, and relieving vaginal dryness.
Moringa is extremely rich in nutrients that the body needs daily. And it is named The Miracle Tree because it is used for relieving over 300 diseases. And is very efficient in alleviating menstrual pain in general, and in women with endometriosis in particular. In addition to relieving sexual dysfunction in women.
Glycyrrhiza glabra is one of the most used plants for medical purposes in Asian countries, wherein it is used for relieving menopause and pre-menopause symptoms. This product is the extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra, and it has incredible medicinal properties.
Tanacetum parthenium flowers have medicinal properties useful for skin diseases, wounds, varices, ulcers, and burns. And it is also a laxative and alleviates pain, and is useful for relieving different menstrual disorders, such as: premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and its symptoms, pre-menstruation pain, light bleeding during periods, heavy bleeding during periods with plenty of blood clots, irregular or absent menstruation.
Eleutherococcus Senticosus, or Siberian ginseng, is a powerful tonic, for it supplies the body with energy and strength in order to fight stress and pressure. One of Siberian ginseng’s most important benefits for women who stopped having their periods and reached menopause and early menopause. Wherein it helps reduce the severity and frequency of the hot flashes and night sweats they suffer from. And studies and scientific research proved its effectiveness.
Reishi mushroom is one of the most important medicinal mushrooms ever, and it is widely used in Asian countries. This mushroom has many health benefits, especially boosting the immune system, and for women who reached menopause. Especially if they had some of the symptoms, like depression, fatigue, and general weakness, and for relieving premenstrual syndrome and endometriosis.
The native Americans were the first to use Cimicifuga Racemosa for medicinal purposes, and then Europeans. Cimicifuga Racemosa is usually used to relieve women-related conditions, such as menopause symptoms, premenstrual syndrome, vaginal dryness, acne, or osteoporosis. Besides alleviating menstrual pain, it is worth mentioning that this plant can also help relieve anxiety, sore throat, rheumatism, coughing, and skin diseases like warts.
Maca, or Lepidium Meyenii, grows in the high hills of the Andes mountains in Peru. And it was cultivated in those areas for at least 3000 years. Maca is an excellent dietary source for the body, for it is rich in Sulphur, iron, magnesium, and calcium. And it helps boost sexual desire, endurance, energy levels, and relieve menstruation disorders and alleviate menstrual pain.
Cinnamomum Zeylanicum is the bark of a tropical evergreen tree that can grow up to 10-40 meters tall. It is originally from Sri Lanka but also grows in South East Asia, South America, and West India. Cinnamon bark can reduce sugar levels in the blood, help blood circulation, increase sexual desire, and clean the uterus. Moreover, it can protect against cancer and alleviate pain in general.