If you have been diagnosed with Endometriosis, you don’t need to be told how painful it can be. Many women I treat hope for a weekend period so they don’t have to keep making excuses to miss work, meetings, and parties. Endometriosis is not simply painful periods, although it is that. It is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age in Canada.
For anyone who has suffered with the pain of endometriosis, the idea of your monthly cycle is unbearable and frightening. The symptoms can vary, but for the most part, they involve:
Severe pain before and during menstruation
Pain during sex
Heavy periods, often passing large clots and tissue
Difficulty getting pregnant
Fainting during menses.
The symptoms are caused by the endometrial tissue (which normally lines the inside of the uterus) growing on the outside of the uterus and surrounding structures, such as ovaries, uterine tubes, and the colon. The disease is diagnosed in “stages” based on the severity of these lesions. The reasons for this extra-uterine grown, however, is unknown.
The conventional treatments for endometriosis usually involve hormone therapy such as the oral contraceptive pill in conjunction with lots of over the counter pain relief medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. The gold standard treatment is laparoscopic surgery to both diagnose the condition and remove the lesions. This can bring a great deal of relief, however, there is no guarantee they won’t grow back.
These symptoms are common and I see them in my practice quite a bit. Because the only way to definitively diagnose this disease is through laparoscopic surgery, sometimes women who come to me with these symptoms don’t have a diagnosis, but it feels the same, and the treatments still work.
There are three treatments, usually used together, that are very effective for endometriosis, and we offer them all as part of endometriosis treaments in our Vancouver clinic:
Acupuncture: For the relief of pain, this is my first line treatment. It releases endorphins, gates-out pain signals, and disengages the sympathetic nervous system, thus reducing perception of pain.
Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs: I use formulas of several herbs together for the effective relief of pain, clots and heavy bleeding.
LLLT: laser therapy is new at Acubalance, but, for several reasons, it is incredibly effective for inflammatory conditions such as Endometriosis. Laser light therapy reduces inflammation to relieve pain, improves blood flow, and increases mitochondrial activity.
If you have been suffering with these symptoms, or have been diagnosed with endometriosis, book a 15 minute phone consultation and I’ll be happy to answer your specific questions.