How to Get Pregnant With Endometriosis
Endometriosis is more and more prevalent among women and besides abdominal pain, it can also become a problem to get pregnant. Learn more about the underlying issues and how you can start treating your endometriosis naturally to help you have a baby.
What is endometriosis?
Well, let's first talk about what endometriosis actually is, because then it's way easier to understand what the effect is on your fertility.
Endometriosis is when you have the cells of your uterine lining, your endometrial lining, and they become like chocolate cysts. Your uterus no longer looks like a nice and smooth little bed for a fertilized egg to land. No, it's kind of lumpy and bumpy. So, you can imagine that a fertilized egg might find it difficult to implant.
Another part of this condition could be that cells of your uterus are traveling somewhere else in your body, outside of the uterus. One of the most common places that you will find this can be in your fallopian tubes or on your ovaries, but it can also show up on your bladder or on intestines. However, these cells have even been found on joints and in the nasal cavity.
What is the effect of endometriosis on your fertility?
Now that you understand what endometriosis is, it's a lot easier to imagine what the effect would be on your fertility, right?
1. Endometriosis can affect healthy implantation
First of all, as a I said, if you've got these chocolate cysts in your uterus, then the endometrial lining is not going to be nice and smooth, and it's not going to be as nourishing. If you've got these chocolate cysts going on.
2. Endometriosis can cause obstruction of fallopian tubes
So, it's difficult, possibly, for a fertilized egg to implant properly. If the endometrial cells travel inside your fallopian tubes, then they can cause an obstruction for a fertilized egg to travel down and because endometriosis is an inflammatory condition, the cells in the fallopian tubes can even cause scarring, so not just the endometrial cells are causing an obstruction, but also the scarring. The risk of this can even be an ectopic pregnancy. Women with endometriosis have a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy because an egg might be fertilized, it tries to travel down, it's not able to, and then it implants into the wall of the fallopian tube.
3. Endometriosis can affect ovulation
The third way that endometriosis can impact your fertility is if the endometrial cells are in or on your ovaries and cause chocolate cysts there. That completely interferes with ovulation, as you can imagine. Also, if endometrial lining starts to build up in your fallopian tubes, the fallopian tube might not even be able to catch an egg that is released by your ovaries.
If you haven't been diagnosed with endometriosis yet, but you're wondering if you might be having it, then this is what you should be looking out for. Mostly ... pain. Can you imagine if you've got endometrial cells in other spots than your uterus, then that can cause pain. Because, under the influence of estrogen every month your endometrial lining starts to thicken.
However, your endometrial lining shouldn't be in your fallopian tubes or on your ovaries or your bladder or your intestines. There's no space for it. It's not meant to be there. So, once it starts to thicken that can cause pain.
This is why with endometriosis you will often see that women suffer with a lot of pain right before their period and during their period as the cells are being shed, and that causes irritation in all the wrong spots. But, you might find that if you have endometriosis that you have abdominal pain your entire cycle and that it is maybe a little bit better after your period, but that it gets worse right after that because estrogen starts to go up and under the influence of estrogen the endometrial lining starts to thicken again.
If you have endometriosis on or in your ovaries, then around ovulation can be really painful as well.
Another thing you can be looking out for is should you be having endometriosis on or in your ovaries, then chances are you won't be ovulating at all or very infrequently. So, if you chart your cycle you'll be able to see if you are ovulating or not.
All this being said, it is possible for you to just have a lot of pain right before your period or during your period if you only have the endometriosis in your uterus, itself. And, you know what? Some women have endometriosis and they haven't got any symptoms at all. You can possibly see that if you have endometriosis on or in your ovaries, that your symptoms can look a lot like PCOS.
What causes endometriosis?
So, of course, in order to heal we want to know what causes endometriosis, right? Well, the general explanations of what causes endometriosis are either retrograde periods, so that means that your period doesn't just come out of your vagina, but it goes back up to your fallopian tubes. The other thing is that it is thought that maybe cells in other areas of your body suddenly out of nowhere develop into endometrial cells or that endometrial cells travel through the blood vessels and the lymphatic system to another location and then start to reproduce there or that it is caused by surgery. For example, if you have a C-section that endometrial cells are spread to another location.
Those are interesting things, but they don't really explain what is causing it, right? They just explain what's happening, with the exception of the surgery because it's very obvious what's happening there. What I find is that the three underlying causes of endometriosis are usually the following three:
- So yes, the first is definitely surgery. It's a mechanical situation. You've had your surgery and suddenly you have endometriosis. It makes a lot of sense that those cells have been spread to another location.
- The second one, however, is an autoimmune condition. It doesn't mean that you necessarily have a specific autoimmune disease, but you can have an autoimmune tendency. This can also underlie your endometriosis. Because endometriosis is an inflammatory condition and that is usually what goes hand-in-hand with autoimmunity.
- The third underlying cause for endometriosis that is I see a lot is estrogen dominance. That doesn't mean, necessarily, that you have too much estrogen. It just means that you have too much estrogen in comparison to other hormones, so it's relative. Estrogen dominance happens anyway as we age, so we often see that endometriosis gets worse with age or it starts to develop with age, but I also see that long term use of the contraceptive pill completely disrupts our hormonal cycle and can also lead to estrogen dominance.
Now that we know what the underlying issues of endometriosis often are, it's a lot easier to look at treatment. If you go and see your doctor, they will probably have about three tools to help you with your endometriosis.
- The first would be anti-inflammatories. These are to reduce the inflammation in you body, so you don't suffer with so much pain.
- The second can be the contraceptive pill because that shuts down your entire hormonal system, so you don't have the thickening and thinning of your endometrial lining, which also causes the pain.
- And, thirdly what is often offered is surgery. The endometrial cells might be removed from the locations where they shouldn't be or the endometrial lining of your uterus is lasered.
Although these tools can give alleviation, they don't actually solve the underlying issues that I just talked about. Again, with the exception of surgery because if surgery is what caused cells to be in the wrong spot, then you can just remove them and that should sort it, right? However, if you look at estrogen dominance or at the autoimmunity, then you need to tackle those things in a different way. Inside out, help you body heal, and deal with those issues.
Endometriosis and estrogen dominance
Let's talk about the estrogen dominance first. As I said, it doesn't mean that you have too much estrogen in your body. It's just in relation to progesterone and other hormones that it is too much. If you want to start lowering your estrogen dominance yourself, then the first thing you need to look at is stress.
Because, if you have a lot of stress in your life, then progesterone is going to be lower. So, if you have estrogen and you're producing that, but then you don't produce enough progesterone to balance it out because of the stress, then you're going to be estrogen dominant, right? So, definitely tackle the stress. It's the first thing to look at.
Secondly, a really simple thing that I keep mentioning is just don't eat or drink any foods or drinks that have been prepared or stored in plastic containers. I recommend that you exchange all your plastic containers at home for glass ones and that you don't use the plastic stuff anymore, and definitely don't heat up anything in it.
Estrogen dominance is, however, something that I treat a lot homeopathically. One of the important things that I will do with women that struggle with estrogen dominance is look at whether they have a history of the contraceptive pill and detox that. I mentioned earlier is that endometriosis is often treated by the pill. It may reduce symptoms temporarily, but it increases your hormone imbalance in the long run. So, dealing with that contraceptive pill layer and addressing the estrogen dominance homeopathically is the best thing that I can recommend.
The other thing that we need to do is treat the inflammation. Because, if you have endometrial cells in the wrong spots or you've got the chocolate cysts on your ovaries or your uterus, then that's going to irritate and inflame. That is what causes pain. By reducing the inflammatory state of your body, you're tackling the endometriosis twofold. First of all, you're reducing the pain that you've got from the endometriosis, but you're also removing soil for endometriosis. Because, as I mentioned earlier, inflammation is definitely an underlying issue for endometriosis.
Now, how can you reduce inflammation in your body? Well, again, stress is the first thing. If you have a lot of stress in your life and not a lot of rest, then that causes inflammation in your body. So, make sure that you tackle that.
What causes inflammation in your body, or feeds it at least, is also sugar, caffeine, that kind of stuff. And then, what I also recommend is that you quit dairy because dairy also promotes inflammation. Sometimes you can get away with raw milk products like Kefir or raw organic milk, but that's not always easy to get your hands on. But, you can experiment with that for sure.
Supplement-wise, what you can do to reduce inflammation in your body and deal with the pain is take extra magnesium. I advise my patients with endometriosis or that have severe menstrual pains to take 100 milligrams of magnesium four times a day during the period that they are in pain and that they take it with food. Then, I also advise to take 100 milligrams as a maintenance dose throughout your entire cycle.
Now, I already mentioned homeopathy and when it comes to endometriosis I really recommend that you find a good Homeopath that takes your entire case and finds an individualized remedy or individualized remedies to sort out your condition. Tackle the pain right now, but also remove the underlying issue.
Sepia can solve hormonal issue
However, there's one remedy that I have to mention to you because it's easy to get. You can get it over the counter, you can order it online, and it has solved a lot of hormonal issues for women, as well as menstrual pain and endometriosis. It's called Sepia. If you struggle, you might as well give it a shot, right? I recommend to get Sepia in the potency 200c and that you start taking it right before you expect your period. So, maybe you can take it once a day before. And then, when your period arrives and the pain gets really bad, then you can put a pill in a glass of water and take little sips throughout your entire day. Now, if you don't feel better from Sepia, don't get discouraged. You probably need that individualized remedy. But, I definitely think that since homeopathy is so cheap and easy to get when it comes to this remedy, I should mention it so you can give it a shot.
So, those are the basics to what endometriosis is, how it effects your fertility, what the underlying issues are, and, therefore, how you should be treating it.