What is endometriosis?
Endometrial cells are the cells that line the inner layer of the uterus (the endometrium). This tissue is shed monthly in response to the hormonal changes of the menstrual period. The endometrium then grows back and slowly gets thicker until the next period when it is once again sloughed off. When those cells are found in areas outside of the uterus, the diagnosis of endometriosis is made.
The misplaced endometrial cells then respond to hormonal stimulus just like the endometrium. But, during menstruation there is no way for this menstrual blood to leave the body through the uterus. Pain, sometimes very severe, is the result. The bleeding tissue may also cause adhesions and scar tissue.
Common sites of endometriosis include the cervix, the vaginal-rectal space, ovary, fallopian tubes, colon and bladder wall.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Symptoms which may accompany endometriosis include cramping, abnormally heavy bleeding, low back pain, painful intercourse, painful intestinal upset or urination during the menstruation, and the inability to become pregnant.
However, some women have no symptoms at all and diagnosis is only made through laparoscopy, a surgical procedure in which a small incision is made and a viewing tube inserted so that any misplaced endometrial tissue can be seen.
Why should I care about endometriosis if I can just take pain medication?
Although pain relief with medication is relatively easy to achieve, it is hard to overcome infertility and to avoid miscarriage. The reason is because endometriosis can cause infertility due to damage to the fallopian tubes which can prevent egg fertilization. In addition, inflammatory proteins in the uterine cavity may prevent implantation, creating a hostile environment for the embryo.
What are the treatments for Endometriosis?
Treatment options for endometriosis to increase the chances of pregnancy include:
- Laparoscopic surgery to remove endometriosis and scar tissue
- Fertility medications such as Clomid or gonadotropins with insemination
- IVF (In vitro fertilization)
Zen Fertility Center's Treatment of Endometriosis
Acupuncture and specifically customized herbal medicine can reduce or eliminate cramps while maintaining regular menstrual cycles to improve chances of getting pregnant either naturally or with ART.
One of the important goals of using acupuncture for treating
endometriosis is to achieve and to maintain the maximum uterine blood
flow, and to reduce the overactive immune response - thus providing a
"friendly" environment to achieve pregnancy and prevent miscarriages.
Patients can help their reproductive endocrinologists by preparing
themselves first before the next artificial insemination or IVF cycles.
One of the many aspects of being ready is the reduction or elimination
of menstrual cramps.
What to do if you suspect you may have endometriosis or are diagnosed with endometriosis:
If you have not been diagnosed and exhibit any of the common symptoms associated with endometriosis, follow up with your gynecologist.
- Supplement with 1 tbsp of Organic Flax Seed Oil to provide omega–3 essential fatty acids as a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Due to the sensitivity of endometrium to hormones, reduce your exposure to excess estrogens.
- Eliminate non-organic dairy products, beef, and chicken.
- Don’t microwave food in plastic wrap or containers.
- Maintain healthy levels of body fat to limit estrogen production. Body fat produces estrogen, so excess weight often means excess estrogen.
- Call us today to start acupuncture immediately as it may take a few months of treatment to control the endometriosis enough for conception to occur.
"After two long years of dealing with multiple surgeries and using lot of pain medication in an attempt to get my endometriosis under control, I decided to look into alternative methods. I found information on Zen Fertility Center on the Internet, and decided to give them a try since they specialize in infertility, and my doctors had told me that they did not think I would be able to have children. I had been trying to conceive for 6 months with no luck when I went to see Zen Fertility Center. Their primary focus was to get my pain under control first, but not only did my pain/stress level drop quickly from the treatment, I also got pregnant a month later. They continued to assist me with treatments during the first trimester, due to complications I was having, and now with only 8 weeks until delivery, I am amazed at how far I have come, and am very grateful for everything they have done." - Kristin S., San Diego, CA
"My period started today (at 22 day cycle) on my drive home from work around approx 5:45. By 6:00 I was having severe cramps with pain that I'd say was a 9 out 10. By 6:15 I had taken 800mg of ibuprofen and 3 capsules of [herbs prescribed by Zen Fertility Center]. Within an hour I went from writhing in pain so bad it was giving me nausea / laying under a heating pad set on the highest setting, to helping my husband make dinner, eating dinner, and cleaned up the whole kitchen. I actually have more energy now than I feel like I've had all day. My pain is at a zero now for menstrual cramps. I am only having mild lower back pain. This is really amazing. I have never felt this well on the first day of my period, not even when I was on the birth control pill. Thank you for your help and guidance. I am grateful that the cramps are under control and I will be able to go to work tomorrow."