I kid you not..I’m coming back as a man next time! As if our systems could work so cruelly against us to cause this sort of problem! Heard of it? Know someone who is diagnosed? Think you have some of the symptoms? Read on.
What is it Exactly?
Endometrial cells form the lining of the womb and in a healthy post- puberty womb, these cells are supposed to grow throughout the cycle to feed any fertilised eggs. If an egg is not fertilised the lining sheds and a new cycle begins. If a woman has ‘endometriosis’ it means those cells are forming in places other than the womb, usually within other parts of the pelvis. They grow during the cyclic process but then do not shed, so they cause lesions which makes organs and tubes adhere to each other. They can grow on ovaries, Fallopian tubes, the bladder, the bowel..glueing everything up. This is one of those conditions labelled auto immune …which means that the body’s system is not working for us but against us.
What Causes it?
Nobody really knows why! Quite a few theories , including on the NHS site..
* retrograde menstruation …The womb lining flowing up the Fallopian tubes instead of out through the vagina
* genetics..evidently it can run in families
* problems with the auto immune system…doh!
* endometrium cells passing into the blood stream or lymphatic system
In other words , we are still guessing!
What is it like for women with this condition?
PAINFUL ! Lower tummy pain, a constant dragging feeling, painful intercourse, painful bowel movements.
EXHAUSTING ! We all know how constant pain is so tiring. Now imagine cells growing where they shouldn’t and dying off, building up, going gooey. Got the picture?
WORRYING! It seems to take doctors ages to diagnose it. Just this month (Sept 2017 ) N.I.C.E. are calling for improvements as it is taking on average 7.5 years for diagnosis. Too many doctors telling young women that ‘period pains’ are normal?
COMPLICATIONS! Infections, bleeding from the bottom, possible infertility, medications, corrective surgery which is fairly temporary..it makes me want to weep just thinking about it.
And do you know how many women are affected? 1 in every 10! Think of how many women you know, 10% of them could have this condition. That’s 1.5 million women aged between 15 and 60.
What are the Long Term Effects?
This condition can last from puberty to menopause! It does not make pretty reading. Damage to organs, ovarian cysts, infections, surgery to remove lesions , hormone pills, possible infertility and early hysterectomy should not be what a woman is experiencing in the prime of her life. Not all womjen experience all these conditions and many do conceive but equally some suffer greatly. I know many suffer privately and stoically because when it’s a lifelong condition you learn to live with it or it becomes the focus of your life.
Your GP may offer ‘the pill’ and some women find temporary relief. Your specialist may offer surgery to remove lesions but these often return as it does not address the root cause. Long term a hysterectomy will almost certainly put an end to the endo but there may already be long term damage to bowel and bladder as very few gynaecologists want to carry out this op on women under 40. And in any case why would you want to be plunged immediately into the menopause?
Sorry..that’s all fairly depressing reading. Please remember that the condition ranges from mild to severe so thankfully not all 1.5 million women are at the severe end of the range. Nevertheless it is a nasty nasty experience.
Can Reflexology Help?
No complementary therapist would claim to cure this condition but the good news is that reflexology can certainly help with symptoms and with the faulty systems.
Reflexology works holistically to restore the body’s natural balance . Attention can be paid to rebalancing the endocrine system to ensure that natural hormonal balance is helping the body to self-heal. The circulatory and lymph systems can be supported through attention to the reflex points. Treatment would promote a greater sense of well being, great pain relief and deep relaxation restoring balance and harmony throughout the whole body. Importantly too it seems to help clients on a personal level…doing something positive for one’s own well being which is non-invasive has in itself a therapeutic effect.
Additionally qualified reflexologists are often able to help couples who are struggling to conceive. Direct attention to relevant reflex points can encourage egg/sperm production, promote healthy Fallopian tubes and again balance all the systems of the body to encourage the optimum conditions for conception.
I hope this blog post has helped. Please share it with anyone who you think might be interested. Wherever people live they can always find a local therapist. But if you are suffering and in my area please contact me. You might like to try a taster session or go for a full treatment. Wishing good health to all.