Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial-like tissue (that which lines the uterus) is found growing outside of the uterus. It can be found on the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, outside of the uterus, bladder, bowel and even as far up at the lungs.
The main symptom is pain which can occur not only just before or during the period but at various times throughout the cycle. Pain can also come during sex or passing a bowel movement, usually in relation to where the tissue growths are.
Other symptoms include heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods, irregular periods, and difficulty falling pregnant. Symptom severity does not always correlate with the amount of tissue growth either, with some stage 1 women suffering greatly and some stage 4 women experiencing no symptoms.
Adenomyosis, which has unfortunately not gotten as much attention, is a growth of the endometrial cells within the walls of the uterus. All of our organs are made up of layers of different tissues so when cells start growing amongst the tissues where they don’t belong, symptoms occur.
The most common symptom for Adenomyosis is severe period pain which is often only during the period or in the couple of days leading up to, unlike Endometriosis which can happen at any time of the month. Periods are often heavy and long, which may have changed after having children.
Endometriosis is diagnosed through laparoscopic surgery, whereas Adenomyosis can be picked up from an MRI or ultrasound and a physical pelvic exam.
Medical treatments so far are restricted to pain relief, hormonal contraceptives and surgery, all of which have varying levels of efficacy.
Natural treatments, from my personal experience, have been shown to provide some relief after time, some women can have complete relief from pain and others a reduction. However I must preface that they will not “cure” or fix these conditions but instead help to manage these symptoms.
Please reach out if you have or suspect you have either of these and we can work through what your next steps are 💗