Endometriosis and pain
Pain in the endometriosis patient is caused by several factors which may function individually or concurrently.
2. Increased prostaglandins (pain substance)
3. Adhesions which cause distortion of the pelvic organs
4. Endometriotic adhesions on nerves (the woman with endometriosis who suffers with sciatica for example, as a result of endometriotic adhesions on the sciatic nerve)
Acupuncture and herbal medicine often facilitate the following effects.
1. A reduction of inflammation
2. An interruption of the prostaglandin cascade
3. Increase blood flow to areas with adhesions delivering appropriate biochemical products which increase healing; macrohphages for example, which serve to ‘eat’ foreign objects in the body of which an adhesion is but one. Acupuncture nor herbs can eradicate adhesions or endometriotic implants but may, as a result of increased delivery of mitigating biochemical substances, help reduce pain.
If you have pain pre and during menses, pain with deep penetration during intercourse, pain with ovulation, pain at mid cycle, and bowel changes with menses this is suggestive of endometriosis.
Before you get your laparoscopy (for example, if there is a 3 month waiting period because of your surgeons busy schedule), then use acupuncture and herbs to help reduce the pain.
In many cases pain is completely ameliorated after laparoscopy. There are occasions however, when pain persists. It is at this juncture that the use of acupuncture and herbs are very appropriate. Your ONLY alternatives are strong pain medication or medication which will prevent you from menstruating such as aromatase inhibitors or Lupron.
Though these medications will reduce pain, and prevent endometriosis re-growth you will not be able to get pregnant while on them. Even though these drugs can help reduce pain, they will also reduce your estrogen levels which, over time, can negatively affect your heart, brain function, and bone density. Acupuncture and herbs do not have these side-effects and permit pregnancy to occur.
The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness is pleased to announce that we are now treating endometriosis patients in addition to treating those couples who are trying to start or grow their families.
Endometriosis and infertility
Endometriosis causes infertility for several reasons.
1. Tubal damage which prevent egg fertilization.
2. Inflammatory proteins in the uterine cavity which prevent implantation
3. Implantation deficit as a result of endometrial pathology associated with endometriosis
4. Possible additional contributing autoimmune disorders which can contribute to infertility; activated natural killer cells, for example.
For the individual wishing to achieve pregnancy who has tubal damage, in-vitro-fertilization after laparoscopic excision surgery is the quickest means to a successful outcome in general. However, the endometrial lining itself is often pathologic and even after a laparoscopy, implantation failure is common. Even the best laparascopic surgeon cannot always excise all endometrial implants.
If, after a laparoscopy, if any endometriosis is still manifest, so too will be the inflammatory proteins associated with endometriosis which contribute to a hostile uterine environment preventing embryo implantation. One may think of this state as having a fever in the uterus. In essence, the uterus is sick. Acupuncture and specifically customized herbal medicine can, in some cases, as mentioned above, reduce these proteins, improve the uterine environment, and help increase pregnancy and live birth rates.