Following on from my blog post on PCOS the other month I thought that it would be good to throw the spotlight on Endometriosis. This includes looking at how it can affect fertility.
What is Endometriosis?
- Endometriosis is when the cells that normally line the inside of the uterus grow outside the uterus.
- They often grow on or in the ovaries
- They may also be found on the lining of the pelvis
- Sometimes they affect other structures such as the bowel
- Occasionally it may be found on parts of the body much further away. For example on the lungs.
- This tissue builds up and bleeds during the menstrual period. This internal bleeding, unlike a period,has no way of leaving the body.
- This leads to inflammation, pain, and the formation of scar tissue (adhesions).
These can include:
- painful periods
- heavy periods
- irregular periods
However all these can have other causes so it is important to get a diagnois from your GP.
Some women have none of these symptoms at all. They may only discover they are suffering from this condition when they have investigations for other issues, often fertility related.
How Does Endometriosis Impact on My Fertility?
- According to Endometriosis UK over 1.5 million women across the UK suffer from endometriosis. Therefore it is a very common women’s problem.
- It does not necessarily cause infertility or pain.
- Endometriosis can be mild, moderate and severe.
- The extent and severity of the endometriosis does not seem to be affected by the severity of symptoms. Many women may have, on examination, severe endometriosis but have no obvious symptoms.
- Minimal to mild endometriosis is common. You may well have no difficulty conceiving naturally.
- With increasing severity scar tissue (adhesions) are more likely. The chance of natural conception decreases.
- There seems to be an association between infertility and endometriosis. However the cause has not been fully established.
- However, even with severe endometriosis, it is still possible to conceive.
How can Acupuncture help?
- It seeks to regulate the functioning of the immune system
- Increase the flow of energy and blood through the meridians or pathways supplying blood to the body.
- Its also seeks to balance oestrogen levels,
- Reduce inflammation
- Balance the immune system