How Endometriosis Affect Fertility?
- Background: Endometriosis affects roughly 10% (190 million) of reproductive age women and girls globally, and 30 to 40% of these women are infertile as a result of the condition. Endometriosis is a disease in which endometrial tissue (normally only found in the endometrial lining inside the uterus) grows outside the uterus and implants most commonly on adjacent pelvic organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, sigmoid colon, pelvic ligaments, uterus, rectum, bladder. This misplaced tissue develops into growths or lesions which respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way that the tissue of the uterine lining does: each month the tissue builds up, breaks down, and sheds. Normal menstrual blood flows from the uterus and out of the body through the vagina, but the blood and tissue shed from abnormal endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. The result is internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions, and inflammation, which can all cause pain, scar tissue formation, adhesions, bowel problems, and infertility.
- It is thought that scar tissue and adhesions may obstruct or distort the shape of the fallopian tubes and prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. Endometriosis may also affect fertility by causing hormonal irregularities, a higher rate of early miscarriage, and immune system malfunctions.
- While the cause of endometriosis is still unknown, many theories exist including retrograde menstruation, genetic predisposition, abnormal tissue development, or malfunction of the immune system. Common symptoms include: severe menstrual cramps, pelvic pain apart from menses, painful intercourse, painful bowel movements, fatigue, bloating, constipation, and heavy, dark, or clotted menstrual flow.
How Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Treat Endometriosis?
- Chinese medicine views endometriosis as a problem of blood stasis, or blood not moving. Stagnant blood coagulates and cannot be moved through blood vessels due to blocked or insufficient energy in the pathways of the body. Blocked or insufficient energy may be due to emotional trauma, severe stress, constitutional weakness, surgical history, and/or exposure to cold (either cold temperatures or regular consumption of cold foods, especially during menstruation).
- Fortunately, this condition can be successfully treated with the help of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and nutritional guidelines. More and more women are experiencing the benefits of these therapies which can completely cure or significantly improve endometriosis, as well as improve the ability to conceive and carry a healthy baby to full term.
- Acupuncture helps to alleviate pain by increasing circulation in the pelvic organs and warming the uterus, enhance the immune and endocrine systems by stimulating the autonomic nervous system to help eliminate stray endometrial cells, relieve stress and correct disruptions in the flow of the body’s energy, returning the body to good health, and overall, acupuncture calms the endometrial tissue to accept an embryo and support a pregnancy.
- Chinese herbs help reduce pain and control and shrink endometriosis. They are targeted to the pelvic region to increase circulation and to eliminate the growth and recurrence of endometriosis by breaking down congealed blood and clots and by dissolving masses.
How Western Medicine Treats Endometriosis?
- Western Medicine focuses on providing temporary relief from symptoms with drug therapy, but this does not cure endometriosis.