Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrial tissue develops in the pelvic cavity outside the uterus. Endometrial tissue can adhere to different pelvic organs and will react to specific hormones, such as estrogen. The abnormal growth of endometrial tissue will often grow fibrous tissue and cysts, causing pain associated with the menstrual cycle.
- Pain during intercourse
- Severe pain during menstruation
- Pelvic pain
- Painful bowel movements
- Changes in bowel movements associated with the cycle
As a result of endometrial tissue responding to estrogen and other cycling hormones, most symptoms will follow patterns associated with a female’s cycle.
Research indicates 30-47% of patients suffering with endometriosis are infertile. Endometriosis can decrease due to pregnancy and thus has stimulated a belief that the today’s higher rates of endometriosis are due to later birthing ages. It is believed that the pregnancy decreases the sizes of the cysts due to the balancing of estrogen levels. Further evidence to support this is the decline in endometriosis during menopause.
Another possible cause is retrograde menstruation, which is simply the back flow of menstrual blood including endometrial tissue.
At the Holistic Wellness Center of Charlotte, we run hormonal tests to check estrogen, androgen, and progesterone levels. Furthermore, we check for Vitamin D deficiencies that could be causing any auto-immune reactions. As always, food allergies such as dairy and gluten are evaluated. Herbal formulas and whole food supplements are used to balance any dominant hormones and regulate menstrual flow with excellent results.
This post was written by Kristien Boyle L.Ac., the acupuncturist at The Holistic Wellness Center of Charlotte.