Spotlight On Endometriosis

Wasn’t yesterday a GREAT day for shining a spotlight on endometriosis? Following research from the BBC and co-ordinated with the charity Endometriosis UK, MPs will now be launching an enquiry into the effects of endometriosis on women’s lives.

More than 13,500 women responded with their testimonies on what it’s like living with endometriosis - HALF said they had had suicidal thoughts, and many rely on highly addictive painkillers.

But what is endometriosis?

Endometriosis involves tissue that’s similar to the lining of the womb growing in other parts of the body - the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel and bladder are all commonly affected. This tissue responds to hormones in the body and builds up but has no way to escape as a monthly bleed. The tissue is trapped and leads to pain, inflammation and scar tissue.

The effects of endometriosis can be far-reaching and devastating. Symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, crushing period pain, pain during sex, pain with bowel movements, migraines as well as being at higher risk of infertility and miscarriage. It’s no wonder that depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts are also widely reported amongst those living with endometriosis.

Conventional treatments for endometriosis include hormonal medication, surgery to remove excess tissue and hysterectomy but none are considered cures. I typically recommend both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for those most severely affected but my job would be so much easier if these women were diagnosed SOONER and could discuss treatment options much EARLIER on in life. By the time women turn up at my practice, they are often really unwell and have experienced many years of pain, frustration with doctors and infertility. It’s high time that these girls and women get access to diagnosis and treatment sooner - whether that’s with conventional medicine or traditional Chinese medicine.

I sincerely hope that this new inquiry will provide much needed focus and funds towards researching better treatments and a potential cure for endometriosis.