“Endometriosis is a gynaecological condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb, grows in other areas of the body, most commonly in the pelvic region. This tissue responds to hormones in the same way as the lining of the womb but with no outlet it can cause inflammation, scarring and adhesions, leading to severe pain and many other symptoms.”
There’s an average time of 8 years from first symptoms to diagnosis, which is an incredibly long time, so raising awareness of this issue is important. I would recommend taking a look at the website if you have, or suspect you may have this condition, as they offer a really good support network to sufferers. There are also factsheets that you can download and a forum to chat with others who have this condition.
As a Zita West Affiliated Fertility Acupuncturist, I see a lot of women at The Mitchell Hill Clinic who have endometriosis. There are a variety of complementary therapies, such as hypnotherapy and homeopathy that may also be able to help and Endometriosis UK has downloadable documents that explain how each works in more detail. You can also call the The Mitchell Hill Clinic to have a chat with Angela Coote or Gabrielle Townsend, who practice these therapies respectively. For those of you interested in how acupuncture may help, I’ll take the opportunity to explain here:
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, endometriosis is caused by blood not flowing smoothly in the uterus, this ‘blood stasis’ can be encouraged to flow more freely by needling certain points on the ears and body. I’m pleased to say that I’ve found success in regulating menstrual cycles and alleviating pain through regular acupuncture sessions. Many women experience a swift result in relation to their cycle. The other benefit of acupuncture is the general effect it has on your wellbeing and the common response is that energy and mood are vastly improved following treatment.
The Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine published a study in their December 2002 issue. Researchers chose 67 women diagnosed with painful periods, otherwise known as dysmenorrhea, due to endometriosis. After half the group received ear acupuncture treatments, it was reported that 81% of these women had less painful periods.
Current research shows that acupuncture seems to regulate hormones, promote blood flow and, due to its effect on endorphin levels, can be effective for pain relief.
I would encourage anyone experiencing symptoms to visit their GP as their first port-of-call. And, if you feel you would like to try a complementary therapy to alleviate your symptoms, please give The Mitchell Hill Clinic in Truro a call on 01872 274774 or email me direct.