Uncovered: 7 Myths About Endometriosis You Should Know
Myths about endometriosis spread easily and often leave women feeling confused. Now, the condition is hitting the headlines again, with news that actress and writer Lena Dunham underwent a hysterectomy to find relief for her long-term chronic pain.
What is Endometriosis?
The many myths about endometriosis shroud this health problem in all kinds of mystery, taboos and delayed diagnoses. One in 10 women are estimated to suffer with endometriosis. This causes significant chronic pain, severe cramping, heavy periods, painful sex and even depression.
Some women experience extreme discomfort, dreading the time of the month. It can also cause them fear and embarrassment, especially if they have made plans to go out and then have to cancel at the last moment.
Feeling lost and hopeless, many women are left with the concept that they have no choice but to suffer, or at best, have a hysterectomy – an operation to remove the womb completely. The good news is that there is a natural solution.
Here, we bust several of the biggest myths about endometriosis…
1. Hysterectomy does not cure endometriosis
There is a belief that if the womb is removed, then the endometriosis will stop. This is not true as removing the uterus and/or the ovaries without removing the endometriotic implants outside of the uterus does not get rid of the symptoms.
2. No one is too young to have endometriosis
Many doctors still believe that endometriosis is rare in teenagers and younger women, so do not consider a diagnosis. This is because during earlier times such as the 1970s, endometriosis could only be diagnosed during a laparotomy. This is major surgery involving a 10-15cm incision into the abdomen (Nowadays, doctors use a laparoscopy to see inside).
Therefore, a laparotomy was a last resort for women with the most severe symptoms. As only women in their 30s and 40s were operated on, the disease was only found in people of this age range. It was only in the mid-1980s onwards that research and studies were conducted into teenagers and young adults with severe chronic pelvic pain.
Recent research by the Global Study of Women’s Health showed that two-thirds of women sought help for their symptoms before the age of 30 – some even experiencing symptoms from their very first period.
3. Endometriosis does not “equal” infertility
There is an impression that many young women with endometriosis will also become infertile. This is not true and many go on to have children.
While it is impossible to give women a reliable indication of their chances of fertility problems, it is generally believed that problems increase with how severe the disease is, along with age.
Generally, around 60-70% of women with endometriosis are fertile. Many more who have difficulties getting pregnant, do eventually manage to conceive without any kind of treatment. This can be of the most damaging myths about endometriosis to a woman’s emotional wellbeing.
4. Hormonal treatments do not cure endometriosis
Any hormonal drugs, pills or progestins do not have any long-term effect on ‘curing’ the disease. They temporarily suppress the symptoms while drugs are being taken – but they do not address the underlying cause.
Hormonal treatments do not have a role in eradicating endometriosis. Surgery by a gynaecologist is required who has extensive knowledge and experience of using specialised techniques to provide effective medical treatment. This is one of the most concerning myths about endometriosis that many people believe.
5. Infertility isn’t just endometriosis on the tubes
Scarring of the fallopian tubes due to endometriosis as a common cause of infertility is commonly spread throughout lay publications yet it is not the sole cause.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection that damages or blocks the fallopian tubes and it is this that causes infertility, preventing the movement of the egg and sperm through the tube.
By comparison, tubal endometriosis is less common and doesn’t always cause infertility. The reasons behind endometriosis causing infertility are still largely unknown. In spite of years of research, it can take years or even decades before the puzzle of endometriosis fertility can be solved.
6. Pregnancy does not cure endometriosis
Pregnancy can only temporarily suppress the symptoms of endometriosis – it does not eradicate it. Symptoms can usually appear again after the birth of the child. The beneficial effects of progesterone produced during pregnancy are thought to suppress the growth and development of endometriosis lesions – causing them to become less active.
When symptoms worsen, this may be because of the rapid growth of the uterus during the early months of pregnancy. This can lead to stretching and the pulling of adhesions that have been scarred by endometriosis implants.
High levels of osterogen being produced during pregnancy can also stimulate the growth of endometriosis and may temporarily lead to the worsening of symptoms.
7. No one knows what causes it
People may claim that there is no cure for endometriosis. They say it is caused by various complex hereditary, epigenetic and molecular underpinnings that form this physiological disease. Yet the real truth is that as endometriosis is caused by underlying inflammation – so it’s important to look at the cause.
Remove the underlying cause and follow a really healthy lifestyle and you will remove the inflammation. Once the inflammation is removed, the painful symptoms become manageable and can eventually disappear. The main causes of endometriosis and fibroids in the body are due to chronic inflammation.
A Healthy Diet and Lifestyle For Natural Pain Relief…
One of the best ways to manage inflammation is with a healthy diet and lifestyle. By following an anti-inflammatory diet for endometriosis and fibroids, it’s possible to reduce inflammation, pain and bloating. It can also help with balancing hormone levels.
Avoiding starchy carbs and sugars in any form including breads, breakfast cereals, potatoes, pasta, high-sugar fruits and root vegetables like parsnips is absolutely essential for good health.
High sugar foods are best avoided as they over-activate the immune system and this causes long-term damage in the form of weakened immune function that can be a major contributor to endometriosis.
Which Myths About Endometriosis Are You Most Surprised At?
You can learn more about the important role a healthy diet and lifestyle plays in the healing process and for eliminating the symptoms of endometriosis in Robert’s ebook (see below).
Robert’s ebook makes it clear to understand the myths about endometriosis and how to find fast and effective natural relief for endometriosis and fibroids…without having to resort to surgical procedures.
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