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What are signs that you might have endometriosis?

Endometriosis may be difficult to find on a pelvic exam. Depending on the severity of the condition, a women may be completely asymptomatic. I had endometriosis (stage II) and I didn't have any direct symptoms of the condition. I did have some menstrual cramps the first day of my period, but nothing that I would consider to be “a problem”.

However, in more severe cases, endometriosis may be found on a pelvic exam. For example, if the uterus cannot be moved or can be only slightly moved during an exam, this might be an indication that scar tissue is present and adhering the tissue together. Ovaries may also be painful and difficult to move if endometrial implants are present.

Here are some causes and treatments for endometriosis:

Tight Clothes

Did you know that in cultures where women wear loose fitting garments that endometriosis is seen much less frequently. The British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that in India where women wear saris, the condition is practically nonexistent.

Pycnogenol (Pine Bark)

There's promising hope for women who suffer from endometriosis, one of the most common causes of infertility and pelvic pain. A new study to be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine reveals that Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, significantly reduces symptoms of endometriosis by 33 percent...

...Patients were randomized to two groups: Pycnogenol and Gn-RHa. Patients who supplemented with Pycnogenol took 30 mg capsules orally twice daily for 48 weeks immediately after morning and evening meals. Patients who received the Gn-RHa therapy received injected leuprorelin acetate depot, 3.75 mg intracutaneously, six times every four weeks for 24 weeks. (Leuprorelin treatment completely blocks estrogen in the body and must be discontinued after 24 weeks because of side effects).

Both treatment groups showed no differences at start of treatment and reported severe pain, pelvic tenderness and pelvic indurations. After four weeks, Pycnogenol slowly but steadily reduced all symptoms from severe to moderate. Treatment with Gn-RHa reduced the scores more efficiently but after 24 weeks post-treatment a relapse of symptoms occurred.

"As expected, Gn-RHa suppressed menstruation during treatment, whereas no influence on menstrual cycles was observed in the Pycnogenol group. Gn-RHa lowered estrogen levels drastically and in contrast, the estrogen levels of the Pycnogenol group showed no systematic changes over the observation period," said Dr. Kohama. "In addition, five women in the trial taking Pycnogenol actually got pregnant," he said.

Excerpted from: Nimrodi, M. (2007, March 13). "Pine Bark Significantly Reduces Endometriosis, New Study Finds." Medical News Today. Retrieved from


American Society of Reproductive Medicine reported that a diet rich in lycopene may help with adhesions caused by endometriosis. Dr Tarek Dbouk, a researcher at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, said the amount used in the experiments was compatible with consumption of a lycopene-rich diet. He said the nutrient could potentially be used to treat endometriosis, scars caused by surgery and fibroids (benign tumours in the womb). 'What we found in our laboratory study is that lycopene can help with the adhesions that these conditions cause,' he said. 'One of the major complications of endometriosis is that it causes inflammation which induces adhesions. The inflammation basically causes scarring. 'What we did was to look at protein markers that could help us trace the activity of the abnormal cells that cause these adhesions. The lycopene worked to reduce the abnormal activity of these cells. 'This means that you would not get the adhesions which suggests that lycopene could work to mitigate the complications and ailments of endometriosis. So, hypothetically speaking, we might be able to reduce the adhesion effects of endometriosis.' Dr Dbouk said it was not possible at this stage to advise women on the amount of lycopene they should eat, but levels used in the study were similar to those that could be got from a diet packed with tomatoes and other lycopene-rich foods. 'There are many studies showing it plays a positive role in cancer and chronic inflammation, it's a nutrient and it can't do any harm,' he added. The latest finding follows evidence that lycopene may protect against some forms of cancer, heart disease and male infertility.

Excerpted from:

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

When I was trying to conceive and experiencing recurrent miscarriage, my research uncovered a group of hormones called prostaglandins which play a critical role in menstruation, conception, pregnancy and sometimes miscarriage. There are different types of prostaglandins, some are helpful and some are harmful. Some prostaglandins assist the uterus and the fallopian tubes to contract which moves the egg to the portion of the tube where fertilization is most likely to occur. Prostaglandins also surge at the end of a menstrual cycle causing the corpus luteum of the ovary to shrink down which tells the body to start a new cycle. When a woman has endometriosis, she needs to help her body manufacture the good prostaglandins by eating a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These can be found in foods like flaxseeds, salmon and walnuts. Read more here.

A study cited in Human Reproduction found that the intake of “trans fats” or hydrogenated oils can increase the incidence of endometriosis and they should be removed from your diet. Hum. Reprod. (2010) 25 (6): 1528-1535. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deq044 First published online: March 23, 2010

Birth Control Pills

Although this is not completely a natural remedy, birth control pills stop ovulation and can help with endometriosis by stopping the monthly surge of hormones which can aggrevate endometriosis and the pain it causes.

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