Naturopathy and Endometriosis
What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy is an approach to health. Fundamentally is is a health care system that encourages the body’s own self healing processes through the use of natural therapies. It draws on both traditional healing methods and modern biomedical research.
What is the Uterus?
- The uterus, also called the womb, is a hollow, upside down pear-shaped organ approximately the size of a closed fist and is located in a woman’s lower abdomen (belly), between the bladder and the rectum (above pubic hair, below tummy button) .
- The upper end of the uterus is connected to the Fallopian tubes, whilst the lower, narrow end, called the neck, becomes the cervix, which extends into the back of the vagina.
- The upper portion is the larger part, and it is here where babies grow and are nourished during pregnancy.
- The uterus is very thick-walled and quite elastic, demonstrated by its ability to expand to hold a growing baby and then return to approximately its prior size after the baby has been born
Layers of the Uterus: The uterus is made up of three special layered linings of tissue and muscle.
- The innermost layer is called the endometrium. After the onset of puberty, the endometrium lines the main body of the uterus and this is where a fertilized ovum implants providing a nesting place with immediate nutrition for the fertilized egg. If a woman is not pregnant, this lining is not needed so it separates from the uterus and leaves the body as menstrual flow during the menstrual period. This process is repeated monthly. Immediately a new lining begins to form in case a pregnancy occurs during the woman’s next cycle. Except during a pregnancy or some abnormal circumstances, this series of events continues uninterrupted from puberty to menopause.
- The second/middle layer is called the myometrium. This gives the uterus its great strength and elasticity. The myometrium contracts during the birth process and forces the fetus out of the uterus into the birth canal.
- The outer third layer is called the perimetrium. It is a thin external covering for the other two layers. The uterus is held loosely in place in the pelvic cavity by several sets of ligaments: the broad ligament, the round ligament and the uterosacral ligament.
Although the uterus is not directly involved in sexual activity, it does undergo changes during sexual excitement. When a woman is sexually aroused, the uterus lifts upward, increases in size and remains enlarged until orgasm or until stimulation stops. The Uterus and Menopause: During and after menopause, the reduced supply of estrogen causes the uterus to shrink in size. It no longer enlarges in response to sexual stimulation but the feelings of sexual excitation, orgasm and fulfillment remain, and women can continue to enjoy sex as much as before menopause.
Signs and Symptoms
|Painful periods (dysmenorrheal)
|Very Short Periods (less than 4 days)
|Irregular or lack of periods
|Prolonged bleeding cycles (7 days and more)
|Nausea and Vomiting
|Severe and increasing abdominal pain throughout the month
|Hypermenorrhea (heavy periods)
|Painful and/or uncomfortable sex
|Nausea and Vomiting
|Reduced ability to control bladder
|Pelvic pressure and pain
|Backache and leg pain
- This is a common condition of the uterus often seen in women aged 30+ but becoming seen more regularly within my clinic. Although conventional medicine seem to think it is seen most frequently in women who have not had children from clinical experience I think that terminations are often linked with it.
- Tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue begins to grow in unusual places, such as on the surface of the ovaries, on the outside of the uterus, and in other tissues in the abdomen.
Adenomyosis – also referred to as “uterine endometriosis,”
· Endometrial cells from the lining of the endometrial cavity, migrate from that lining, most commonly into the side or back wall of the uterus and attach to muscle.
· As these cells respond to monthly hormonal changes, blood can get trapped in the myometrium producing a hard and enlarged uterus.
· Adenomyosis is most frequently seen in women in their early to middle 40s and is often associated with hormone imbalance…usually excessive estrogen supply.
· Various published studies have shown that 12% of patients with Adenomyosis also have been diagnosed with endometriosis in other sites outside the uterus, within the pelvis. As high as 62% of women who had hysterectomy were found to have this disease on pathology reports.
- The first type appears as solid tumors and are called Adenomyomas. This form of the disease is localized and is an encapsulated collection of endometrial cells with well defined borders. They appear much like fibroids and are often mistaken as such. Many can be safely removed from the uterus
- The second, and more common type, is the diffuse disease that spreads out within the uterine myometrium. As the endometrial cells invade the organ, the uterus becomes enlarged and hardened, making pelvic exams and intercourse very painful. At the cellular level, the uterine muscle cells are being damaged losing their ability to stretch and contract. This is the main reason for miscarriages during the 2nd and early 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
- This is an increase in the number of normal cells lining the uterus. Although it is not cancer, it may develop into cancer in some women. The most common symptoms are heavy menstrual periods, bleeding between periods, and bleeding after menopause.
- Uterine Prolapse – when the loosening of the support muscles and tissues in the pelvic area. muscles
- Hysterectomy – removal of the uterus