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What is Endometriosis?

I thought I would explain Endometriosis, in a non doctor format, so we can all understand it better and know what we can do about it! Do you really understand…. What is Endometriosis?

Essentially Endometriosis is where small pieces of tissue are found in areas outside of the uterus, where they shouldn’t be. These bits of tissue are called lesions.

These cells form to on the surface or walls of various pelvic organs. They include our uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, bowel, ureter and appendix. Other common spots include the ligaments, the cul-de-sac, the Pouch of Douglas and in the rectal-vaginal septum.

To get a better understanding of how this looks, here is a visual of the inside of a female body.

So you can see from this visual how the Endometriosis lesions would form on the different organs that surround the uterus. The lesions vary in size and colour depending on how they grow. Some are tiny 1-2mm while chocolate cysts can be much larger (1-2cm) and are mostly found in the ovaries.

What causes the Endometriosis pain?

There are different times of the month where the female body performs different functions. Your pain may be more prevalent at “that time of the month” or you may experience pain only during ovulation or at any given moment.

 

1. Adhesion Pain

Some women experience a permanent sense of pain with Endometriosis which can often be due to large adhesions which have built up between the organs.

There are women who have a very severe case of Endometriosis Lesions which have spread to a number of organs which suffer inherently very little pain, while other women who have only a small amount of lesions, suffer severe pain. It depends very much on where these lesions form and the amount in one location.

The lesions are quite sticky and when large pools of them form in one location they develop adhesions. This is essentially where they start to stick together. Severe pain can often be experienced with these adhesions form between two organs, such as the left ovary adhering to the uterus or bowel.

You can imagine that just a small amount of movement on this “sticking” would then cause severe pain.

 

2. Prostaglandin Pain

When you experience pain with your period, it can often be associated with the Prostaglandin 2 hormone-like substances. These substances are found in different locations in the body and they perform a very important task with healing the body, including blood clotting and creating inflammation. These cells are however, in over-supply in our pelvic area and actually contribute to blood clotting and inflammation in the area. The Prostaglandin are released when we have our period, to stimulate the uterus to release the blood from the body. This is why you will feel their effects more strongly whenever you are bleeding.

 

4. Pain from the related organs

The lesions which form are often formed on related organs in the pelvic area. Each one of these organs has its own duties to perform. When these separate organs become inflamed or are not functioning as well, they too can become inflamed. A bladder infection or poor bladder function is a good example of this. Essentially, a bladder infection causes inflammation in the bladder. This additional pressure, enhances the pain of the lesions which are sitting on the outside of these organs.  Women with Endometriosis often experience more severe pain with Constipation for this reason.

 

5. Heavy period or clotting pain

At that time of the month you may experience pain as you are bleeding more heavily. Once these large blood clots are removed you generally feel better from the initial pain. It is called Clot Colic. When you are passing clots of blood, the uterus goes into a spasm, much like labour pains, until the clot is through the cervix. It is incredibly painful. The only saving grace is knowing that the large clots are coming out and not staying inside your body.

 

There are many different reasons for pain outside of this list but these are the main ones which are directly related to Endometriosis. A signal of pain is your body trying to tell you that something is not right. The same way you may get nauseous after eating a certain meal or get a headache after doing something. It is a warning of something that your body wants you to fix. Unfortunately, we don’t always know what it needs or how to treat it.

 

Personally, I have found using natural, holistic methods to treat my body have been the most successful. I have only one day of pain in a month and it is bearable. I don’t even need to take any pain killers!

It is a longer and slower process but looking back, I would’ve rather endured 1year or 2years of the holistic methods, than spending the last 15years going through 7 laparoscopies, 8 different hormonal treatments and endless hours of fun missed in my life!

 

Which pain do you think your Endometriosis goes through? What have you found seems to alleviate it?

I LOVE hearing your comments and feedback. 

Please share your thoughts or post a question below.....

Hugs,

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About Melissa:

Melissa is a Writer, Speaker and Natural Medicine Consultant for Women with Endometriosis. After having suffered with Endometriosis for over 15years, she now lives a completely pain & symptom free life. 

She believes that all women with Endometriosis should be given the same opportunity and has shared her knowledge to truly Empower Women with Endometriosis.

8 Responses! Are you going to share yours?

  1. Thanks for sharing – great article. I have not been able to cure tried so many holistic methods, which have helped a little. I have found though exercise does help a little. Acupuncture was probably biggest help with Chinese herbs, again did not cure. It’s interesting to see how it all works thank you again xo

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