Endometriosis is the condition when the cells lining your uterus grow abnormally. Instead of restricting themselves to the inner walls of the uterus, they invade the surrounding area. Thus, the endometrial cells start growing in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and even outside your reproductive system, like your bladder, bowel, or around your pelvis.
During the menstruation part of your cycle, the lining cells inside the uterus break off and leave your body through the vaginal canal. However, when you have endometriosis, the endometrial cells that grew outside your uterus do not have a straightforward way to leave your body. This blockage leads to tissue inflammation, scarring, and a level of pain many patients describe as “excruciating.”
Around 10% of people with vaginas of reproductive age have endometriosis. This condition is a chronic one, which means that you have to be aware of living with it for the rest of your reproductive years once you have a positive diagnosis.
The most notable symptom of endometriosis is pain. The continued pain around your uterus’ area worsens coming your menstruation days, even getting to the point of not letting you get up from bed for your daily activities. It can also radiate to your bladder, pelvis, lower back, hips, and thighs. In addition, it will hurt when you have sex or go to the bathroom.
Other symptoms include heavy periods, premenstrual discomfort, a general feeling of fatigue, and difficulties to conciliate sleep. If these symptoms are left too long without treatment, the patient might develop fertility issues.
Diagnosis is Another Kind of Pain
The diagnosis of endometriosis can be an arduous and lengthy process that can last as long as ten years. Due to a lack of representation of uterus wearers’ health in scientific research, it usually gets misdiagnosed as an overreaction to natural menstrual cramps or a consequence of sexually transmitted infections.
The gender bias this misdiagnosis has behind tends to lead medical professionals into shaming or gaslighting patients, prescribing them sedatives instead of pain medication, and delaying proper treatment to the point where many patients lose their capability of getting pregnant.
Be sure to have a thorough register of your menstrual cycle and any symptoms related to it for at least a few months before going to your doctor. Precise tracking of it will help speed your diagnostic process. You may have to undergo scans, blood tests, and internal examinations and yet obtain inconclusive results since they may not show your condition with accuracy.
The only definite way to diagnose endometriosis is through laparoscopy. This intervention is a minimally invasive surgery. The physician will make a small incision beneath your navel and insert a camera to take an unobstructed look at your internal organs in search of telling signs.
What Causes Endometriosis?
The root causes of endometriosis are still under debate. While some researchers think it may be due to the rerouting of menstrual blood flow, others blame environmental factors, possibly toxins.
Some researchers support the proposition that this condition can have a close relation to imbalances or deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system, in charge of regulating physiological, mental, and emotional stability.
This hypothesis sounds consistent, given the role of this system in cancer cell growth inhibition and that patients with endometriosis have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Treatment and Self-care
The traditional treatment for endometriosis usually includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, paracetamol, and diclofenac. These drugs work better when you take them before the onset of pain, starting a few days before you have your period until after ovulation.
Many doctors prescribe hormonal treatments, like birth control pills or intra-uterine progesterone coils. However, this hormonal approach may be counterproductive since the estrogen boost they give to your body masks the symptoms and worsens the inflammation in the long run.
Since endometriosis deals an almost continuous pain, you have to take this medication daily. Such prolonged drug ingestion can affect the inner lining of your gastric system, adding yet another inflammation to your plate. Finally, hormonal treatments can give you migraines, nausea, thyroid issues, increase your blood pressure, alter the beneficial bacteria in your intestines, make you gain undesired weight, and disturb your emotional stability with mood swings.
Self-care and natural medicine have beneficial effects on endometriosis pain, although limited. Anti-inflammatory diets and the consumption of healthy foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can improve your everyday life when you accompany them with moderate physical activity, therapy, pelvic floor exercises, or yoga stretching.
Cinnamon and coffee have inflammation and pain relief properties, although they might not be enough for the more complicated cases. Some patients report benefits from massages and acupuncture. Working on your emotional health through meditation, counseling, or mindfulness exercises also helps you relax and ease pain and discomfort.
CBD Treatment for Endometriosis
CBD is the short name of cannabidiol, the other prominent cannabinoid we find in cannabis plants. CBD is not psychoactive, and it has a wide range of medical benefits. While it seems that CBD does not directly bind to the endocannabinoid receptors, it influences their performance instead. The multiple properties of CBD make it an invaluable help in the treatment of pain, inflammation, and neurological conditions as psychotic disorders, seizures, anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
Many health benefits of CBD come together in a way that gives hope to endometriosis patients. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties may notably reduce the swelling and pain associated with it. This effect gets support from the CBD modulation of the immune response, which tampers down excessive response and avoids extra inflammation. Additionally, CBD’s mood-stabilizing qualities may reduce the anxiety and depressive feelings that usually come along with the pain episodes.
The uncontrolled tissue growth of endometriosis shares similar patterns to cancer cells spread. Because of this similarity, many researchers think that endometriosis patients can benefit from the same CBD cancer-fighting qualities.
Research shows that the influence of CBD on cannabinoid receptors induces a decrease in the growth of abnormal endometrial tissue, which can deeply alleviate the worst of endometriosis symptoms. It also inhibits the formation of blood vessels around nerve lesions and cysts, which deprives them of taking the body’s nutrients for sustenance.
Few specific studies are testing the efficacy of CBD against endometriosis in large populations. However, many individual case studies report notable improvement in the patients’ symptoms and general feelings after using CBD-based products. According to these studies, the ingestion of oral CBD oil drops brings a long-lasting relief, desensitizing the pain receptors and dealing with the inflammation.
Moreover, localized massaged with a topic CBD-based cream like Soothe or CBD-infused body oils like Coconu also help keep the inflammation controlled and diminish the pain levels. Sexual lubricants and infused suppositories have fast-acting effects since they allow an internal absorption of CBD. The added hyaluronic serum of GoLove will also nourish your sensitive skin while its CBD soothes your symptoms.
An unexpected benefit of cannabis treatment for endometriosis lies in the use of the whole flower. The unique combination of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, and CBC, relies on the so-called Entourage Effect.
This mechanism combines the plant flower cannabinoids and terpenes in a well-balanced modulation, softening the psychotropic effects of THC while boosting the beneficial effects of the rest of the compounds. Many endometriosis patients report that vaping cannabis flowers gives them a fast relief when they have breakthrough onset pain.
As you can see, CBD does help endometriosis pain to make it more bearable. Although its effects can reduce the excruciating experience of endometriosis, it is still important to know that it won’t completely cure this disorder.
In case you have Endometriosis, and it affects your sexual life, you can learn some of the best sex positions for endometriosis pain. You don’t have to put off your pleasure just because of this disorder. With the right treatment and counseling, you will get to find a balanced spot in your life.