Hi readers, always thrilled to see new faces on the site. While we’re all in agreement that the female body is the most beautiful and awe inspiring creation on God’s good earth, it’s also the most complicated. That’s why I’ve decided to shift focus on one widespread and extremely painful condition that affects millions of my fellow girls and women worldwide.
But that doesn’t mean that guys aren’t welcome. You’re our fathers, sons, brothers and men in our lives! The information found here will help you gain a better understanding of what to expect and how to help your loved ones cope.
Today, we’ll be talking about endometriosis. And if you know anything about it, it’s that it comes with severe cramps which worsen during periods. What’s more, the condition often creates problems when you want to have a baby.
In this segment, we’ll be looking at what exactly endometriosis is and how it presents itself in the female body. We’ll also be digging a bit into the causes and risk factors that could make you more susceptible to the condition. And as always, Olivia’s got a few medical treatments and alternative solutions that will help you manage the condition. So stick around readers, and enjoy Olivia’s ultimate guide to everything you need to know about endometriosis.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is an often painful disorder where the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus grows outside of it instead. In most cases, this tissue can be on the ovaries, fallopian tubes as well as tissue surrounding the uterus. However, rare cases have endometriosis occurring in other body parts such as around the bladder, bowels, or even inside the stomach.
Now, even though the tissue is outside of your uterus and spread far from the pelvic region, it still acts like it would if it were still inside the lining of your uterus. This means that during and at the end of your menstrual cycle, the tissue thickens, breaks apart, and bleeds just as usual.
Only in this case, the misplaced uterine tissue has no way of exiting your body so it becomes trapped. As a result, the surrounding tissue becomes irritated, inflamed, swollen and over time, scars, lesions, and adhesion can develop. That’s why most people report excruciating pain that gets worse with each menstrual cycle, but we’ll get to the symptoms in a short moment.
Typically, endometriosis affects girls and women of child bearing age and is far less common in women who have already been through menopause. Unfortunately, endometriosis is a long term condition that can have quite a significant impact on your life. But the good news is, there are ways to prevent, treat and manage the condition. But before we get to that, let’s have a closer look at the signs and symptoms.
Signs And Symptoms Of Endometriosis
Although 25% of women with endometriosis don’t display any symptoms, the remaining percentage reports a wide range of different symptoms. However, there are a few characteristic symptoms that almost all of them report. These include:
a) Pelvic Pain
Often associated with the menstrual cycle, pelvic pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. This recurring pelvic pain often ranges from mild and annoying to severely cramping and stabbing pains from both sides of the pelvis, lower back, rectal area and down the legs. Typically, the gnawing, throbbing and dragging pain gets worse as the endometriosis progresses. Other symptoms of endometriosis related pain include:
- Dyspareunia – Pain during sexual intercourse
- Dysuria – Increase in urinary frequency, urgency and painful voiding
- Dysmenorrhea – Incredibly painful and disabling cramps during menstrual cycle
b) Excessive Bleeding
Due to the breakdown and deconstruction of the misplaced uterine tissue, it’s not uncommon for women with endometriosis to experience occasionally heavy periods, spotting in between cycles or plenty of blood in the urine and stool. Likewise, you might also notice vaginal bleeding after intercourse.
Research shows that over 40% of women who are infertile or unable to conceive have endometriosis. As a matter of fact, infertility is usually the only sign for most women. That’s why a large number of women diagnosed with endometriosis were actually seeking treatment for infertility.
Other symptoms of endometriosis include:
- General body fatigue
- Headaches and low grade fevers
- Nausea and vomiting
- Painful periods lasting over a week
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Ovarian cysts
- Bladder and intestinal complications
Causes and Risk Factors of Endometriosis
Like most progressive conditions, doctors do not know the exact cause of endometriosis. However, there’s no shortage of plausible explanations and risk factors that could contribute to developing the condition. They include:
- Genetics – Scientists believe that a genetic predisposition could play a role in endometriosis. Research shows that daughters or sisters of women with the condition are at a higher risk of developing endometriosis themselves.
- Environmental Toxins – Numerous studies have attempted to investigate the link between endometriosis and exposure to dioxins. However, the evidence towards the relationship and potential mechanisms are poorly understood.
- Retrograde Menstruation – Here, menstrual blood containing endometriosis flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of outside. The cells continue to thicken and bleed overtime causing endometriosis.
- Surgical Scar Implantation – After common surgical procedures such as C-sections or hysterectomies, endometrial cells may attach themselves to a surgical incision and continue growing as normal.
- Immune System Disorder – It’s also quiet possible that a problem with the immune system could make the body unable to recognize and eliminate endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus. Similarly, the blood and lymphatic systems could also transport the cells to other parts of the body.
Risk Factors for Endometriosis
- Starting periods at an early age
- Never giving birth
- Short menstrual cycles
- Going through menopause at an older age
- Having higher levels of estrogen
- Having a low body mass index
- Consumption of alcohol
- Uterine abnormalities
Prevention, Treatment And Management Of Endometriosis
While there is very limited evidence, research indicates that the use of combined oral contraceptives comes with a reduced risk of endometriosis.
2. Treatment and Management
As explained above, endometriosis is a long-term condition that can’t be completely eradicated from the body. But while there is currently no cure for endometriosis, there are plenty of interventions that could help offer some semblance of relief. They include:
a) Pain Medication
One of the key management methods for endometriosis is centered on pain relief. Sometimes, the pain and discomfort associated with the condition can be extremely excruciating, especially during the menstrual cycle. These medications include:
- Anti-inflammatory NSAIDS are commonly used in conjunction with other forms of therapy
- Opioids such as Morphine sulphate tablets and other painkillers can also be used to treat endometriosis. They work by mimicking the action of naturally occurring pain reduction chemicals known as endorphins.
- An immunomodulating agent known as Pentoxifylline has been theorized to improve pain management associated with endometriosis.
b) Hormone Treatment
- Also known as progestins, progesterone has been shown to counteract estrogen and even inhibit the growth of endometrial cells. This will help reduce or eliminate menstruation in a well controlled fashion.
- Oral contraceptives have been shown to reduce the menstrual pain associated with endometriosis. Hormone contraception therapy works by reducing or eliminating menstrual flow and providing extra estrogen support. Typically, the contraceptives are a long-term approach.
- Likewise, medications that block the formation of estrogen such as Aromatase inhibitors have become of interest for researchers in the treatment of endometriosis
When it comes to endometriosis, there’s abroad range of surgical procedures that can be used to keep the condition in check. Conservative treatment primarily consists of removal of the endometrium, associated adhesions, resection of the endometriomas as well as much restoration of the normal pelvic anatomy as possible.
One effective procedure considered as minimally invasive is known as Laparoscopy. In this procedure, a surgeon makes a small incision around the belly and inserts a laparoscope to look for the endometrium and remove it. This conservative treatment ties to leave the uterus and ovaries untouched for women who still wish to conceive. However, there’s always the increased risk of recurrence. But in more severe cases, a hysterectomy is usually recommended. This is where the entire uterus is removed to manage the endometriosis. However, this means that you won’t be able to conceive anymore.
Essential Oils For Endometriosis
There’s no question about it; endometriosis can be a very brutal disease for anyone to cope with. More often than not, girls and women worldwide go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. As if suffering through years of pain and unimaginable discomfort wasn’t enough, almost all the women now have to deal with the quagmire that is western medicine. Sure, the incessant pelvic pain, excessive bleeding and infertility can really wear down even the toughest of souls. But it’s the consequences of hormonal treatments, drugs and varied surgeries that take an even bigger toll.
This is why more and more people with long term conditions like endometriosis are shifting over to natural and holistic treatments. Essential oils have been touted as the safest, most effective way to cope with endometriosis without dealing with any negative side effects associated with western medicine.
Be it physically, psychologically, mentally or emotionally, essential oils play a huge role in dealing and healing numerous aspects of endometriosis. With the right blend of essential oils, millions of women have been able to get help for endometriosis-related issues such as inflammation, scar tissue, hormonal imbalances, internal bleeding, liver detoxification, fluid retention and severe nerve and pelvic pains. Out of over a thousand different aromatic and essential oils, I’ve selected the top few that show the most promise. And as always, Olivia shares some effective recipes that will help you put the oils to good use.
6 Best Essential Oil Recipes For Endometriosis
Recipe 1: EO Massage Oil Blend for Endometriosis
- 12 drops Geranium Essential Oil
- 10 drops Nutmeg Essential Oil
- 6 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
- 5 drops Rose EO
- 2 ounces carrier oil
For most women with endometriosis, the pain can become unbearable, especially during menstruation. That’s why this massage blend will come in really handy. I started off with EOs like Geranium and Nutmeg that are packed with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and sedative properties which will help drastically reduce the pelvic and nerve pain. Similarly, nothing beats Clary Sage when it comes to helping the female body with hormonal imbalances. The Rose EO adds a potent, aromatherapeutic touch that will help put your mind at ease through the day and night.
To make use of this recipe, mix in your essential oils as indicated above with 2 ounces of your preferred carrier oil. Since it’s a massage blend, you can also use some massage oils instead if you have them. Make this blend and start using it about a week before each period starts. Apply three times a day on your abdomen and hips and massage the oils in deeply. And remember, the more consistent you are with the treatment, the better the results.
Recipe 2: EO Pain Relief Formula for Endometriosis
- 10 drops Helichrysum EO
- 8 drops Lemon EO
- 6 drops Sweet Marjoram EO
- 5 drops Frankincense EO
- 2 ounces Fractionated coconut oil
As explained above, endometriosis often comes with moderate to severe pain in the affected regions. That’s why you need essential oils such as Frankincense that has been linked to prompt pain relief. Similarly, Frankincense and sweet marjoram also promote mental wellness.
To make use of this recipe, combine all the oils in a non reactive bowl and dilute with your preferred carrier oil. Once mixed in, rub over your lower back and abdomen to get relief from pain.
Recipe 3: Endometriosis EO Hot Bath Blend
Due to the thickening and bleeding of misplaced uterine tissue, endometriosis makes it hard for the body to get adequate circulation in all regions. This is where EOs such as Cypress oil come in to the rescue. Cypress EO has been shown to improve circulation and provide a much needed boost to nutrient rich blood in the body. Coupled with the other EOs, this hot bath will offer a holistic treatment for endometriosis.
To make use of this blend, mix all your essential oils in a hot bath drop by drop. Stir up the bath and soak inside for about 20 minutes. The essential oils will provide unrivaled antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and other medicinal properties that will help provide a well rounded treatment for endometriosis.
Recipe 4: EO Recipe for Scar Tissue and Endometriosis Adhesion
- 5 drops Helichrysum essential oil
- 5 drops Rosehip Seed EO
- 3 drops Frankincense EO
- Tablespoon of Rosehip seed oil
One of the most common characteristics of endometriosis is the formation of several bands of scar tissue known as adhesions. These adhesions can grow overtime and cement organs and fascia together which can cause considerable tension and pain. Now, there’s no overnight cure for adhesion apart from surgery which also comes with negative consequences. However, people who don’t want surgery can use a castor oil blend that has the ability to penetrate deep and eliminate adhesions.
But whether you have surgery or not, you can use this here recipe to address scar tissue, muscle spasms, inflammation and fluid retention. Simply mix all the above ingredients in a non reactive bowl and apply to areas affected by adhesion. If you have had surgery, apply the oils before the procedure and afterwards to help heal the incisions. Helichrysum and Rosehip seed oils have been found incredibly effective when it comes to healing surface scars.
Recipe 5: Vaginal EO Implant for Endometriosis
- 10 drops Lavender EO
- 8 drops Frankincense EO
- 6 drops Cypress EO
- 2 drops Peppermint EO
- 4 drops Tea tree EO
- 2 drops Helichrysum EO
- 2 ounces of virgin olive oil
Ladies, bear with me on this one. But as you’re well aware, the vagina is a direct highway to the uterus. With this blend, you can be able to provide instant, immediate and effective symptom relief as well as faster treatment of endometriosis.
To make use of this recipe, combine all the oils in the order listed and dilute with extra virgin olive oil. Soak a tampon in the mixture and insert it overnight. Repeat the process every night for about 3 weeks and you should have already started seeing the benefits within the first week. The EO implant will help ease inflammation, control hormonal imbalances, help boost circulation to the uterus and assist with cellular regeneration of scar tissue.
Recipe 6: Endometriosis EO Detoxification Formula
- 1 drop Rosemary or Carrot Seed EO
- 1 drop Peppermint EO
- Olive oil to fill capsule size 00
In most cases of endometriosis, there are always higher than normal levels if estrogen involved. And like all other excesses in the body, it’s up to the liver to clear them. But due to the unchecked hormonal imbalances associated with the condition, your body ends up putting a strain on the liver.
To help with the detoxification, you can use this recipe internally. Simply mix all the 2 essential oils in an empty gelatin capsule, top up with olive oil and down the hatch it goes. The formula will not only give your liver a much-needed boost in detoxifying capabilities, but it will also support healthier, normal function.
5 Home Remedies For Endometriosis
If your endometriosis symptoms are acting up and you’re looking for a quick, effective and free solution, then heat is hands down the best home remedy at your disposal. Application of localized heat can not only help relax and calm the pelvic muscles, but also reduce pain and cramping. You can use hot water bottles, warm baths, heating pads and other heat sources to treat the cramping and pelvic pains effectively.
b) Castor Oil
For centuries now, castor oil has been used to treat endometriosis even in hospitals. It can be used right from the onset of the condition to help the body get rid of excess tissue as well as the adhesions that are expected with endometriosis. Castor oil works by penetrating deep into the abdomen once applied and helping detach and eliminate adhesion and scar tissue while also destroying stagnant tissue.
c) Vegetables and Flaxseeds
According to research, evidence suggests that a certain group of plant chemicals known as flavones could inhibit the enzyme aromatase that converts androgens to estrogens. Great sources of this plant chemical include broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels, sprouts, cauliflower, and bok choy. Likewise, flaxseeds and incredibly high in fiber and lignans which also help with estrogen related conditions.
d) Turmeric and Ginger
Apart from being vital ingredients in the kitchen, turmeric and ginger can really come in handy in the fight against endometriosis. Turmeric and ginger have already been in use as folk medicine for centuries. Turmeric boasts of a compound known as curcumin that gives it potent anti-inflammatory properties while ginger also possesses some unrivaled healing properties. Ginger is also a natural antioxidant that helps with detoxifying the body and clearing out toxins accumulated in the liver. You can add a teaspoon of ginger, garlic and honey in some water and drink twice daily for a week.
e) Sitz Bath
Here’s another effective and recommended remedy that you can do right at home. Ideally, a sitz bath is recommended by naturopathy practitioners for treating endometriosis. This type of bath works by soaking your body in hot water for a few minutes and then switching to cold water for a short while. Alternating between a hot and cold bath keeps the muscles contacting and relaxing which helps reduce pain and other symptoms associated with endometriosis.
The Final Word
That wraps up today’s segment on all you need to know about endometriosis. Now that you have this information handy, diagnosing and managing the condition should be that much easier now. Western medicine will really help, but you should be prepared for the adverse side effects.
Before I conclude, let me just say that it’s always an empowering and hopeful practice to heal yourself. When you’re unwell and in pain, it’s easy to feel totally alone. But always remember that that is the best time to be kind to yourself. Let essential oils be a friend in your journey to healing and be a symbol of power turned inward. So be brave, be hopeful, and be patient with your body; all it takes is one positive day at a time.