Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes debilitating pain in the second half of the menstrual cycle after ovulation. Recent research suggests that endometriosis may be an autoimmune condition based on increased inflammatory cytokines found in the serum and peritoneal cavity of women with endometriosis compared to healthy controls.
In this condition, endometrial-like tissue is found outside of the uterus. Just like the normal endometrial tissue found within the uterus, the misplaced tissue grows and develops on a monthly cycle under the influence of estrogen. This is what causes the cyclical and intense pain associated with endometriosis.
Endometriomas are most frequently found on the ovaries but can also be found on the broad ligament, uterosacral ligament, rectosigmoid colon, bladder, and ureter. Rare cases have found evidence of endometriosis in the skin, eye, spine and lung.
The main symptom of endometriosis is extreme pain and the location of this pain will vary from woman to woman based on the location of the endometriomas.
Pain with menstruation
Pain with intercourse (dyspareunia)
Pain in the second half of the menstrual cycle
Heavy and long periods
Bloating and constipation
Endometriosis takes an average of ten years to diagnose and can only be definitively diagnosed through laparoscopic surgery, adding to the complexity of the condition and diagnosis.
Since definitive diagnosis is only confirmed through surgery, we treat endometriosis based on symptom presentation. If you are suffering from symptoms such as those listed above, treatment can be started immediately.
No specific blood tests can be used to rule in or out endometriosis. Sex hormones may be measured if high estrogen levels are suspected to be contributing to the severity of pain.
Traditional treatment of endometriosis involves anti-inflammatory medication, hormonal birth control, and surgery when needed.
The pain associated with endometriosis can be very severe and many women require one or a combination of the above. We work along with these traditional treatments to reduce inflammation further, balance hormones as well as modulate the immune system.
Treatment commonly involves; dietary changes to remove inflammatory foods, balancing the gut microbiome, immune system modulation, botanical medicines and nutraceuticals to further reduce inflammation, physical medicines such as acupuncture or referral to other health care practitioners to help with adhesions and scarring.
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Other Women’s Health conditions treated include:
Acne, Amenorrhea, Bacterial Vaginosis, Breast Pain, Chronic UTIs, Endometriosis, Fertility, Fibrocystic Breasts, Hair Loss, Heavy Bleeding, Menopause (hot Flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep, mood), Ovarian Cysts, Pelvic Pain, PCOS, PMDD, PMS, Post Birth Control Syndrome, Yeast Infections