What is Endometriosis?

One of the things that I like to equate endometriosis to is a rocky garden.  Ideally for a perfect uterine environment we want a…I like to…the analogy I use is a…healthy soil, fluffy, nourished, it’s got all the fertilizer, it’s been watered, it’s healthy, it’s a beautiful environment to grow healthy plants right. Just like it would be a beautiful environment in the womb to grow a healthy baby.  Well when you have endometriosis it’s like having a rocky soil bed, it makes it very difficult for plants to grow, in this case it makes it very difficult for a embryo to implant into the uterine environment.  So we want to fix it up, we want to correct that.

So what is Endometriosis? 

Endometriosis is basically an inflammatory response where the endometrial tissue can be located in multiple different areas of the body, primarily in the pelvic region, and it disrupts function and typically can also disrupt conception.  Now these little chocolate cyst-like tissue growths of endometriosis can be found both inside the uterus and outside the uterus, and oftentimes they are restricted to the pelvic region so it can be found on the Fallopian tubes, the uter…the ovaries, as we said, the uterus, but it can also end up on the bladder and pretty much anywhere else in the body.  Because it can be found anywhere in the body we can see that symptomology or discomfort can spread to other organs during menstruation, and I’ll go into that in just a minute.

There are typically three degrees of endometriosis.  I’ll keep it simple – mild, moderate and severe.  The symptoms can vary depending on which degree of endometriosis you have and they can range anywhere from having no symptoms whatsoever but still having endometriosis all the way to severe menstrual pain and irregular bleeding in other body parts or tissues during menstruation or even sometimes ovulation so much so that we might see that a woman might bleed rectally, from the navel, sometimes even from the nasal tissue in extreme cases.  So it just depends on the degree and the severity of the endometriosis.  I do have a little theory that I think all woman as they age develop a little bit of endometriosis just because of all the constant bleeding with the cycle for so many years, potentially with multiple births and so forth.  But it’s just a theory.

So the four main concerns that we are concerned with regards to endometriosis are these:

First – inflammation, as I mentioned earlier, is an inflammatory response; and with inflammation comes pain.  So we need to manage the inflammation wherever it’s located.

Two – is that there are links and some of us believe that there is an auto-immune characteristic to endometriosis.  I personally have been tracking and noticing a trend where I see patients who have a history of appendicitis also have endometriosis.  It’s not a hundred percent or one-to-one relationship but I have noticed that and in my view the appendicitis can be viewed as an auto-immune issue in the intestines.

Three – Scarring.  If you’ve got severe endometriosis certainly that can lead to scarring and blockages, but also if you’ve had multiple surgeries to remove the lesions then that can also lead to scarring over time.  And that’s definitely something that needs to be corrected and treated to hopefully help facilitate a healthy pregnancy.

And last but not least, about one third of all women with endometriosis don’t ovulate regularly or have an ovulatory issue and potentially also have a ludiophase defect.  Both of those two topics are something to go over in another video, not right now.  But those are the four main concerns.

Additionally a little technique I love for patients with endometriosis, is “acupressure”, and yes you can do acupressure with just using your hands but additionally something that makes it easier are something called “seeds for fertility”. And the seeds you apply the pressure with the seeds and they apply the pressure all on their own so that you don’t have to use your hand, and they also keep that pressure more continuously and ongoing for a longer period of time.

Understanding and identifying these signs of when you are ovulating will allow you to get pregnant sooner. There are also tools available like Ovulation Calculator which will accurately predict when you are most fertile.

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Marc Sklar works with couples who have struggled to achieve pregnancy and has been doing so for over 15 years. As the Fertility Expert, Marc has a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Marc received his training at the prestigious Harvard Medical School – Mind/Body Medical Institute. Dr. Sklar co-authored Secret to Conception and created two informative fertility websites, ReproductiveWellness.com and MarcSklar.com. We hope you have the opportunity to visit our websites and learn more about our team, our methods, conditions we treat and explanations to many frequently asked fertility questions. Marc is married with two boys currently living in San Diego. He is ready to help if your goal is to start a family!