If you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis, you know very well how rough it can be! It’s not just painful; it’s excruciating, with discomfort that can last for a week or two every month. People don’t really get it, because they tend to think you just have bad menstrual cramps. To make things worse, endometriosis is hard to diagnose. It can often take years and several doctor’s visits to have a clear diagnosis. There’s no cure. And in some cases, it can cause infertility.
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue becomes implanted in your pelvic cavity, but outside of your uterus. This causes lesions that can swell and shed, just like your uterine lining, but because there’s no outlet for the tissue, it causes severe pain and pressure. Endometriosis can also cause scarring, fertility problems, and other health issues.
And here’s the thing; endometriosis is fairly common. It affects about one in ten women throughout the world and more than a million women in Canada. Sadly, even though endometriosis affects so many women, doctors and scientists don’t really know how or why endometriosis occurs.
Despite there being no cure for endometriosis, there are a number of ways to help sufferers manage this condition. Conventional treatments include pain medications, hormone therapy, and surgery. Acupuncture can also be considered a worthwhile treatment for endometriosis because it works through a couple of different actions. Scientists have found that acupuncture is effective in treating pain by boosting your body’s own opioid system of neurotransmitters. In addition, acupuncture can help increase circulation to your ovaries and uterus, and it may help balance your reproductive hormones.
There’s also a bit of good news in the fact that the research and medical community are turning their attention to endometriosis. Despite the fact that only $7 million has been spent on endometriosis in Canada over the past two decades, things are changing. The Canadian government reports that it is currently funding nine research projects on the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.
Also promising is the fact that networks are cropping up to support women with this condition. The Endometriosis Network Canada is an organization that provides education, support, and resources for women with endometriosis. In addition, EndoAct Canada is a group that’s committed to advancing patient-oriented policy, care, and research on endometriosis.
If you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis, we’d like you to consider us at BodaHealth a resource as well. Using a variety of treatment strategies, we have helped a lot of women who suffer from this condition. Our caring practitioners are committed to helping you manage this condition and get back to living your life. If you or someone you love suffers from endometriosis, contact us to find out how we can help.
Dr. Jeda Boughton is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Registered Acupuncturist in Vancouver. She is also a Registered Herbologist and the founder of BodaHealth.