Throughout the month of March we have been promoting awareness of Endometriosis. This is a painful, sometimes debilitating condition that can cause fertility problems. It has been estimated that it affects 10-15% of women between the ages of 24 -40 years of age. However, the numbers are most likely even higher as it often takes many years to get properly diagnosed. This is a significant number of women of reproductive age affected.
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. We offer endometriosis treatments in Vancouver.
March is endometriosis awareness month which reminded me of a blog I had written a few months ago about a patient who had been struggling with infertility.
Although we focus much of our treatments for fertility we rarely only treat reproductive health. Almost all of our patients have problems in other areas of their health which generally improve while we treat their fertility. A healthy body usually means optimal fertility!
Endometriosis effects a large percentage of the patients I see in my practice. In most of these cases it has been a part of their infertility diagnosis as well as years of discomfort associated with their period. For the majority of these women their only mode of relief was from anti inflammatories such as Advil or by taking the Birth Control Pill. Neither of which offer long term relief once stopped. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine offers a strong treatment for both painful periods and endometriosis.
I was reminded of a patient I had seen a while ago and I wanted to share her story to help encourage those who have endometriosis and are trying to get pregnant. Endometriosis is a stubborn problem and many of my patients come in extremely discouraged and frustrated. There is hope!
Bacteria, I mean. Inside our mouths, on our skin, in our guts, healthy commensal bacteria outnumber the human cells in the body. We have co-evolved with micro-organisms since the beginning, and they play a number of important roles in our overall health – from how the immune system functions, to what we weigh. Though research has identified vast microbial ecosystems in the epithelial membranes of the body (the orifices like the mouth and vagina, the GI tract, and the skin), we never thought that we’d find bacteria in the internal organs – and we hadn’t, until now.
Continuing on my fertility food series; today I would like to talk about foods that can improve your fertility and reduce symptoms associated with Endometriosis.
I see women struggling with endometriosis daily in my practice here in Vancouver. The symptoms vary from painful periods, excessively heavy bleeding, uncomfortable intercourse and a variety of other ailments. What most have in common is infertility. Endometriosis can cause infertility in up to 50% of those effected.