What Every Woman Needs to Know about Endometriosis

Did you know that March is Endometriosis Awareness Month? Endometriosis is a complex and often misunderstood condition that affects approximately 190 million women worldwide. It can cause severe pain during periods, bowel movements, and even during intercourse. 

Endometriosis doesn’t stop at period pain. It can also lead to anxiety, fatigue, depression, and infertility. 

All of these symptoms together can take a toll on your quality of life and impact your daily activities. In the spirit of awareness, Dr. Robin Rose, Tracey Sheedy, PA-C, and the team here at Terrain Health want you to know that you’re not alone. Our team specializes in women’s health and partners with you on your journey.

In this blog post, our team explores the key aspects of endometriosis, including what it is, its signs and symptoms, how it can affect your fertility, and how the Terrain Health team can help.

Here are some of the most common questions we hear regarding endometriosis. 

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue similar to the lining of your uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside of your uterus. These endometriosis lesions can be found on organs such as your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the lining of your pelvic cavity. Despite its prevalence, endometriosis is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and can potentially lead to unnecessary suffering for many women.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Endometriosis?

Understanding the signs and symptoms of endometriosis can help you spot the earliest signs of endometriosis so you can get the care you need.

Common indicators include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Dyspareunia
  • Infertility

Chronic pain is also linked to increased anxiety and depression and decreased sleep quality. 

Keep in mind, though, that some of these symptoms can have many different causes. For example, heavy bleeding can also be a sign of uterine fibroids.

What Causes Endometriosis?

While the exact cause of endometriosis remains unclear, several factors may contribute to its development. These include genetic predisposition, hormonal imbalances, immune system dysfunction, and environmental factors. 
Research is ongoing to unravel the intricate web of causes, but a multifaceted approach is necessary to address the complexities of this condition.

How Does Endometriosis Impact Your Fertility?

Endometriosis is closely linked to infertility, and it can be a pressing concern for any woman trying to conceive. The abnormal growth of endometrial tissue can obstruct the fallopian tubes (which is where conception occurs), disrupt your ovarian function, and create an inhospitable environment for fertilization. 

By understanding this connection, women can make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

Root Cause Treatment

While symptom management is crucial, addressing the root causes of endometriosis is equally important. The Terrian Health team offers a holistic approach to women’s health, focusing on personalized care and root cause treatment. This may include lifestyle modifications, nutritional support, hormone balancing, and integrative therapies to enhance your overall well-being.

Nutritional support

What you eat (and what you avoid) can play a big role in helping you find relief. According to a 2023 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, meat consumption aggravates endometriosis, while vitamin D and fiber intake help reduce pain.

You might consider following an anti-inflammatory diet, which may include reducing processed foods, gluten, and dairy. Certain herbs, like turmeric and green tea, have anti-inflammatory effects and may be beneficial. 
Not sure where to start? The Terrain Health team offers nutritional coaching to help you reach your goals.

Recommendations for exercise

Regular physical activity can help manage symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Yoga and other low-impact exercises may be particularly beneficial.

Bonus: if endometriosis is impacting your sleep quality and mood, exercise can help improve sleep and mood.

Integrative therapies

Integrative therapy is an approach that combines conventional Western medicine with complementary and alternative therapies to address your physical, mental, and emotional needs. 

Our team offers several types of integrative therapy including:

The goal of integrative therapy is to treat your whole person rather than just the symptoms of endometriosis.

Take Action This March

Endometriosis Awareness Month provides an opportunity to shed light on a condition that significantly impacts the lives of countless women. By understanding the overview, signs and symptoms, causes, and links to infertility, you can empower yourself and seek timely medical attention. 

Through Terrain Health women’s health services, you can access comprehensive care that goes beyond symptom management.

Together, let’s raise awareness and support those affected by endometriosis on their journey towards a healthier, more vibrant life.

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