Endometriosis is a condition suffered by women of various backgrounds,
race and age. The word endometriosis is derived from "endometrium",
or the lining inside of a woman's uterus. Endometriosis occurs when
the lining somehow makes its way outside of the uterus. Generally,
it is found in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments supporting
the uterus, although it can occur in a number of different locations.
The lining is not shed during menstruation, as is the lining inside
of the uterus. This condition may inflame surrounding tissues, causing
symptoms ranging from abdominal pain to infertility.
Treatments for endometriosis
are as varied as the disease itself. Some Western treatments of endometriosis
involve hormonal therapy or even surgery. For many women, Traditional
Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers an alternative to invasive or otherwise
uncomfortable procedures. My own experiences suggest that acupuncture
and Chinese herbs are more effective and much less unpleasant and dangerous
than hormonal treatments or surgery to treat endometriosis. Some women
may require surgical approaches for treatment of endometriosis. However,
it makes sense to try to obtain relief with Traditional Chinese Medicine
The symptoms or signs
of endometriosis are numerous, with varying degrees of pain and severity.
Some of the more common symptoms include:
A) painful menstruation;
often beginning one to two days preceding the menstrual cycle (also
known as secondary or progressive dysmenorrhea) and including severe
pain on the first day of menstruation. This pain recurs and becomes
more severe month after month. Also common is distention and pain in
the middle of the lower abdomen and lumbar-sacral region.
B) irregular, absent
or prolonged menstrual cycle.
C) infertility; although
not present in all cases, endometriosis can result in infertility.
D) painful intercourse;
30-40 percent of patients suffering from endometriosis report pain
F) painful urination
and increased bowel movements during menstruation.
G) other gastrointestinal
upsets such as diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
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