Killer Cramps? You may have Endometriosis

endomonthMarch is national Endometriosis awareness month– this often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed disease can lead to infertility, chronic pelvic pain and more.

What is Endometriosis? (from the Mayo Clinic)

“Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond your pelvic region.

In endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would: It thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. And because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions — abnormal tissue that binds organs together.

This process can cause pain — sometimes severe — especially during your period. Fertility problems also may develop.”

Symptoms of Endometriosis?

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into your period and may include lower back and abdominal pain.
  • Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.
  • Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia).
  • Infertility. Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
  • Other symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.”

Can Acupuncture Help-What the Research Says

Numerous studies show that acupuncture is effective in treating pain conditions and many show effectiveness in treating fertility; two of the major consequences of endometriosis.

A NIH study published in the Journal of Pediatric Adolescent Gynecology (2008, October) “enrolled 18 women (age 13-22) who had laparoscopically-diagnosed endometriosis.  They received 16 treatments over 8 weeks, one group received acupuncture and other a placebo-type called sham acupuncture.”

Results: ” Participants in the active acupuncture group (n=9) experienced an average 4.8 (sd=2.4) point reduction on a 11 point scale (62%) in pain after 4 weeks, which differed significantly from the control group’s (n=5) average reduction of 1.4 (s.d.=2.1) points (P=0.004). Reduction in pain in the active group persisted through a 6 month assessment; however, after 4 weeks, differences between the active and control group decreased and were not statistically significant. All HRQOL measures indicated greater improvements in the active acupuncture group compared to the control; however, the majority of these trends were not statistically significant. No serious adverse events were reported.”

To read a full copy of this publication click here: endo.nih

At Wildwood Acupuncture Center–we are a family owned medically based clinic who will work in collaboration with other treatments you are receiving to enhance your treatment results.

Call us today to schedule a consultation: 301-530-5308