March 31, 2022 - THE RESTORATIVE APPROACH
Symptoms include dysmenorrhoea (painful periods), pelvic pain, dyspareunia (painful intercourse), infertility, heavy or irregular bleeding, nausea at the time of menses, diarrhoea and/or painful bowel movements, dizziness, headaches at the time of the menses, fatigue, low grade fever and low resistance to infection. Endometriosis is also a leading cause of infertility affecting up to 50% of women who struggle to conceive. This is thought to be due to the inflammation caused by the trapped blood and tissue causing the release of toxins which create a hostile environment for conception.
Typically, when a woman goes to her doctor with heavy, painful periods, she is offered painkillers and some form of hormonal contraception as a way of managing her symptoms. These work by suppressing her menstrual cycles which means she no longer has heavy painful periods. However, endometriosis is a surgical condition and the gold standard for diagnosis and treatment is a laparoscopy and excision of the endometrial deposits under direct observation by the surgeon. Histological analysis of the endometrial deposit confirms the diagnosis. Hormonal contraception masks the symptoms rather than treating the endometriosis and this could also be a contributory factor in the inordinate length of time it can take to diagnosis. Once the woman stops taking the hormonal contraception, often after many years and often because she wants to try to conceive, the endometriosis is still there untreated. She thus faces the double impact of long untreated endometriosis and advancing age adversely affecting her fertility. Finally, there is no medical regime that can be used successfully in the treatment of endometriosis-associated infertility. It needs to be treated surgically.