Dr. Kassam Endometriosis Awareness Month

Endometriosis Awareness Month

About 200 million women suffer from Endometriosis, worldwide.  Diagnosis of endometriosis can be delayed from anywhere between 7-12 years from the onset of symptoms to surgical diagnosis. This makes Endometriosis month super important in raising awareness and educating individuals around this topic.  

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition, which involves the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue in areas outside the uterus (where it should be normally) like, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, rectum, and intestines. Every month this misplaced tissue responds to hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle and builds up, breaks down and bleeds. Since this tissue is building up in areas outside of the uterus, it has nowhere to go and instead results in, scar tissue, inflammation, and pain in the pelvic region. 

What are the causes of Endometriosis?

  • The causes of endometriosis are still unknown. However many theories do exist which are outlined below:
    • Increased estrogen 
    • Retrograde menstrual flow - Menstrual blood flowing in the wrong direction going into the abdomen. Thus, anything that encourages backward flow on heavy flow days is discouraged – ex. Headstands, certain yoga poses 
    • Tampon use – can obstruct proper menstrual flow + It can introduce dioxin (a byproduct of bleach) into the body
    • Autoimmune & Genetic component

What are the risk factors associated with Endometriosis?

  • Lack of exercise 
  • Strenuous physical activity during menstruation may increase the risk of retrograde menstrual flow
  • Low body weight
  • Increasing age
  • Alcohol use
  • Early menarche
  • Family history
  • Intercourse during menses
  • Low body weight
  • Cigarette smoking

What are the symptoms of Endometriosis?

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Pain with urination
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Pelvic pain
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Infertility
  • Pain with vaginal intercourse

How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

Laparoscopy is a procedure in which a lighted viewing instrument is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision and is the gold standard for diagnosing endometriosis. MRI and ultrasounds may also be used in the diagnosis along with CBC’s, Urinalysis and Cervical cultures that are used help rule out endometriosis.

What are Conventional treatment options?

Since the root cause of the disease is still not completely understood, conventional treatment focuses on symptom management through medication and surgery. Common pain meds that are often used include Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and other NSAIDs. Hormonal therapies include birth control pills, progestins that work to control hormone levels in the body. The gold standard of treatment is surgical excision. However, up to 50% of patients may experience a recurrence of pain after surgical excision of lesions and about 20% may not show any improvement at all. It is important to note that most of the therapies are contraindicated in women trying to conceive. These therapies work for some women, but not all.



Emphasis needs to be placed on a multidisciplinary, whole body approach with a focus on the underlying mechanism of disease. Stay tuned for next week’s article to learn more about how Naturopathic medicine can help in endometriosis.











The advice in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician. 


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