March is endometriosis awareness month so naturally the first blog is going to be another educational post on the condition of endometriosis. According to WHO, around 10% of all women and girls are diagnosed with endometriosis, and honestly this is probably an underestimate.
In many countries, the general public and most front-line healthcare providers are not aware that distressing and life-altering pelvic pain is not normal, leading to a normalisation and stigmatisation of symptoms and significant diagnostic delayhttps://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/endometriosis
As you can see, diagnostic delay from front line medical providers has contributed to women all over the world not receiving answers and treatment for their symptoms. Our goal is to spread awareness to all the women of the world to help bridge this gap and help women get the treatment that they need, faster.
Endometriosis is defined as a condition where tissue similar to the endometrial lining of the uterus grows on the outside of the uterus, thus causing painful menstruation and/or infertility. It causes a chronic inflammatory reaction that may result in the formation of scar tissue (adhesions, fibrosis) within the pelvis and other parts of the body (WHO). To list a few symptoms that characterize endometriosis:
At this time, there is no evidence behind the idea of the “size” of abnormal tissue or lesions correlating with severity of symptoms. For example, a woman with a small lesion or build up of endometriosis can have severe, debilitating symptoms. Whereas you could see someone else with significant tissue built up have only mild symptoms.
There is another key component that is present with women who have been dealing with endometriosis symptoms is a hyper-response to pain in the brain. So there are pain receptors all over your body, and if you deal with endometriosis where the painful periods, painful intercourse, and painful urination becomes a chronic problem that is left untreated then your brain may begin to alter how it recognizes painful stimuli as a protective response. This caveat is that this creates a hyper-response to stimuli that may not actually be “painful”.
Due to the fact that this creates a dysfunctional pain interpretation arc in your brain, this requires significant education and physical therapy, and occasionally psychology counseling to treat. I would say that this is one of the most complicated sides of physical therapy treatment, but educating YOU is the next best step to dealing with chronic pain from endometriosis.
There is no cure for endometriosis, and treatment options at this time are purely for mitigating symptoms and improving quality of life!
So what can you do if you are dealing with endometriosis? Well please bring it up to either your primary care doctor, or your gynecologist. After that it would be good to discuss what symptoms you are feeling, so if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above- then definitely talk to your doctor!
Pelvic floor specific physical therapy treatment is usually the first line of defense. I would 100% recommend it to anyone who suspects they have endometriosis.
If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, I would highly encourage you to seek the help of a counselor or psychologist in your area. Also thanks to websites such as BetterHelp.com – they have made it more accessible to the public as well!
Next, I always find that my clients with endometriosis really benefit from bodywork. This can look like massage therapy, rolfing, or thai yoga massages. Honestly, whatever you can tolerate will help! Helping your body release tension that it’s holding from compensating from the pain will improve your ability to function in life better!
Please head over to Belle’s Youtube channel to try out THIS Yoga for Endometriosis Routine!
Please never be afraid to ask for help… If you have any questions or concerns please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂 I would love to hear from you, and help you any way that I can!