When I reflected back on my body and how different it felt during those few weeks when I was pregnant before my miscarriage, I discovered why doctors might put women on pregnancy inducing hormones. So many of my symptoms that I used to experience prior to being pregnant went away. They were minor symptoms but they seemed to reduce or disappear during this time.
The main ones were related to going to the toilet. I didn’t have that urgency that I had before. I thought this was kinda strange since most women report needing to go to the toilet more, but for me, it was as if I could hold it longer and didn’t need to go nearly as often.
My mood definitely improved. I felt calmer and somehow happier. Life seemed like a breeze and that heaviness seemed to have been taken away somehow—perhaps this is where the “pregnancy glow” thing comes from? I also experienced less tension in my shoulders and had better circulation.
Well, I wanted to understand what was happening in the body and if there is any way that endometriosis might be cured by pregnancy since these hormones would stick around for much longer and could then alter the growths of cysts and a whole bunch of things in the process.
Here is what I discovered:
There are actually different types of estrogens and each one performs a different function. There is estradiol, estrone and estriol.
Estradiol (the long word) creates growth or stimulates endometriosis growth to occur.
The estrone and estriol actually reduce the growth of endometriosis cells and these are the same hormones which are produced when we are pregnant.
Progesterone is also produced but when we are pregnant these guys produce massive amounts! We can produce up to 400g of progesterone a day during pregnancy.
When we are pregnant, we no longer ovulate. When we don’t ovulate, we don’t produce estradiol and thus, there is nothing to “feed” the endometriosis.
So, in a sense the theory is that by stopping the growth stimulation of endometriosis cells, they eventually shrivel up and dry out. Once this happens, there is nothing for the body to repair and the growths stop. No more prostaglandins sending inflammatory responses or warning signals and the growths die out.
This seems to work for some women and not others. Do you have experience with endometriosis and pregnancy? Do you know the statistics of endometriosis going away after pregnancy? What is your personal experience? Would love to hear it!
This Post Has 9 Comments
I was diagnosed with Endo in college. Worst periods, couldn’t work or study the first day; I was in bed and if I got up I would vomit. It was excruciating pain. Based on the internets I thought I’d have fertility issues. My sister joked that all this pain would mean I’d push babies right out After 5 months of trying for pregnancy I thought I should seek help. Low and behold I turned up pregnant! 9 months pregnant, 14 months of breastfeeding. Had one cycle and then got Oregon again! Then breastfed for a year so went another TWELVE months period free! So I essentially went 3 years with ONE period! Unbelievable for someone who is SO regular.
My youngest is 3.5 years, so I’m 2.5 years into the new period routine. NO pain! NO heavy bleeding! No longer 7 days, more like 4 days! To say it doesn’t cure endo, well, they haven’t studied me! I have a new uterus that I love. It fixed all my hormone issues. It was like a reset button!
Hi, I only knew I had endo after my first child was born although looking back all the clues were there before I got pregnant, during pregnancy I felt great but I did have horrible Pelvic girdle pain that was helped hugely by a wonderful osteopath, I had morning all day sickness but never threw up, my baby was transverse until the very end so I ended up with a c/section which I really didn’t want to do, got pregnant while still breastfeeding exactly a year later and had a much easier second pregnancy, my baby was head down which was so much more comfortable, I still felt nausea and heart burn, but it was all some how easier, no endo pain but I did have thrush all the time before I had my babies, which is interesting with the link to endo, during pregnancy I was clear right through which was HUGE for me! I felt relaxed and happy while I was pregnant so the progesterone does give you that feeling. fast forward to second c/section because my OB refused to let me try for a natural birth which I am still so mad about and it all went wrong with that op, I got a horrible nasty scar inside and kept bleeding mid month, went to docs three times and was always told because I was BF my baby it was my hormones and not to worry about it, I knew something was wrong, was endo in my scar running right along my uterus bleeding outside as well so causing lots of pain and a belly so bloated I still look 5 months pregnant, had my op two months ago and had a scan a few days ago, the endo has gone, no sign of it on the scan, the scar has completely healed (I knew that I could feel I was better and no bleeding or pain any more) I am using natural progesterone cream and so far don’t feel any different although I do get a bit more swollen in my hands and face and have a calmer feeling after using it, also a bit of nausea though hanging around. End result of this huge story is we can have healthy pregnancies and yes the endo does go away while you are pregnant BUT if you have to have a c/section it really causes such a mess for us endo girls, it seems to trigger it and my pain etc started with my period 4 months after having my babies even though I was BFeeding them full time. Last point is during my op my OB found that I have adenomyosis in my uterus, I can see the spots clearly in the pictures he took, turns out this is common in women who have had c/sections and are prone to endo and over 35, so another reason to try to avoid surgery if at all possible for us.
Yeah for sure. I just tend to prefer to go straight to the source of the problem as to why we have a hormone imbalance, rather than trying to work on the symptom of having it in the first place 🙂
Interesting stuff Mel! It makes me wonder if progesterone is really the cure for endo or whether simply reducing the amount of estradial and increasing estrone and estriol may be the ticket. Does progesterone reduce estradial? I have never felt better than my two pregnancies and I didn’t know I had endometriosis. However for the first few weeks I had dreadful morning sickness in both pregnancies, until the placenta became fully formed in the second trimester. Interestingly, having just tried progesterone cream, after a few days I definitely felt a reduction in cramping, bloating etc but an increase in nausea. Also, my yoga teacher told me that she felt her best whilst pregnant and now feels great again after menopause! (although completely crap during peri-menopause). There’s an answer here somewhere…
Congratulations on having one little one already and having another one on the way. You are very lucky!
Endo doesn’t need to be a battle till menopause sweets – we can find a better way together 🙂
It is a pleasure and all the best.
That is a great find Dar! I will need to look into that one further 🙂
I’ve spoken to a lady who had two children. She said she had no endo symptoms whilst
pregnant and it took 7 years after last child for it to start coming back again…
Another lady said she felt endo pains son after birth again…
So as always, it is not set in stone and we all feel and experience it differently
Good info Melissa… As I’ve been told endo is due to candida .. So, with this and speaking of Estradial I looked up “Estradial and Candida” and it appears there is a link between the two as Estradial feeds the Candida, if I read it correctly.. Which may explain why during pregancy, if Estradial is lowered the candida would decrease. What are your thoughts?
I have a little experience with this subject, but, unfortunately for me, mine revolves around the fact that I had an emergency c-section. A little background: I was lucky to find myself pregnant (accident, but we were about to start trying) just 6 weeks after I had a 7cm endometrioma removed from my left ovary. I had been so scared that I was not going to be able to get pregnant due to endometriosis and endometrioma but there I was. Fast forward thru a perfectly healthy, uneventful pregnancy my son was born from emergency c-section due to an elevated heart rate (never went into labor). He’s now 3 and perfectly happy and healthy but that first year was so stressful and the minute I stopped breastfeeding the pain came back worst than it’s ever been. I attribute this to stress and the c-section surgery.
Fast forward a few more years and I’m now 9 weeks pregnant again after the following: 1 year of low estrogen bc (which i hated, but I was desperate and too busy and stressed to take care of myself in another way), then 9 months of acupuncture, chinese herbs, change of diet, etc. I don’t feel like I’m fully healed and this pregnancy is proving to be more difficult than the last, but I do think that, for me, endometriosis will be a battle til menopause.
BUT! I truly believe that I can stay away from stress and keep up a good quality of life (I wish I could hire a cook!) I will manage it naturally. Thanks for your blog! I do think that for some people pregnancy shifts their body, I wish that were my experience. Here’s hoping for a vbac this time.