Alternative treatments

Starting a new series of articles – we are going to look at some alternative therapies that may help endometriosis sufferers.

Whilst these are largely conjecture – we hope to help inform people and give reasons for these therapies working and back it up with any study data we can locate.  

This is to counter the crack-pot “cures” that do not exist and are proliferating the Endometriosis communities now, especially “cures” which are deamed authoritive because one person got relief, with no science behind them or cures.  Often these can be more dangerous if the advice is followed naively.

As they say… stay tuned for this series which will be semi-regular, in that we will update it when we get the information ourselves!

Stages of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is generally recognised to have four stages, some doctors may talk of five stages where stage 4 is taken a step further – below is our understanding of the four stages.

Stage One Endometriosis

A few cells/implants are present, often in the pelvic area, even at this stage some women can suffer significant symptoms.  Often after surgery women to remove the cells/implants are back to stage one (assuming surgery is taken to tackle the latter stages).

Stage Two Endometriosis

Endometrial cells are found in more areas, often on one or both ovaries.  At this stage fertility may start to be affected due to these.

Stage Three Endometriosis

More cells are found in the pelvic area and can be seen more easily during diagnostic laproscopy.  Pain is often severe and fertility is often impaired as a result of the pain and distress due to the spreading of the cells.

Stage Four Endometriosis

This is the most severe stage, often organs are joined by fibrous strands due to the spread of the endometriosis.  Inflammation is often extensive due to the irritation of the organs as the body reacts to the cells.  At this stage fertility is almost certainly affected alongside severe pain. (It should be noted that due to the variance of endometriosis it is possible to be at Stage 4 and not be affected).

These stages are a rough guide and give you an idea when someone talks about stages.  With endometriosis someone can be stage one and have the same symptoms as someone in stage 4, it all depends where the cells are and so what is irritated or damaged as a result.

What is Endometriosis?

This post just covers what Endometriosis is, you will find other information on the site about symptoms and treatments.

Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of endometrial cells that spread to areas in the body where they do not belong.

Usually endometrial cells exist within the lining of the womb and are shed during menstruation (period) – whilst they exist and are shed they do not cause endometriosis (they are supposed to exist in this situation).

Endometriosis cells can grow in many areas of the body, they have been reported in the brain, eyes , nose and more commonly in fallopian tubes, the outer surface of the uterus, pelvic organs, the ovaries,  colon, bladder and the sides of the pelvic cavity.

As normal during menstruation these cells will become filled with blood and may bleed, unfortunately when they are present elsewhere in the body this can lead to pain due to inflammation and other complications.  Often as a result of this symtons are cyclical – especially initially and is often mis-diagnosed as “period pain” or “cramps” etc…  It is worth noting that symtpoms can occur at any time and do vary from person to person, this is one of the reasons why we need sites like this!

Ovaries grafted on to women’s arms – Wednesday 26th September 2001

Ovaries grafted on to women’s arms

Doctors in the US have transplanted ovarian tissue from two women on to their forearms to help them produce healthy eggs.

The women have been unable to have children because of medical problems – cervical cancer and benign ovarian cysts.

Their ovaries now function as they did in their original position, with the forearm growing and shrinking during the monthly menstrual cycle.

Dr Kutluk Oktay, from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York City, told Ananova: “This was about taking ovarian tissue from women undergoing radiation therapy for cancer, or women undergoing ovarian removal for benign ovarian disease, then grafting them underneath the skin.”

He said after two to four months the tissue started functioning and the patients started to produce eggs.

“In my estimation around 50,000 women of reproductive age are diagnosed with cancer each year, as well as 10,000 women who require surgery for benign cysts or endometriosis,” he said.

“With this ovarian tissue being removed and frozen and then transplanted in the arm following radiation treatment,or transplanted freely into the arm and then being lifted above the area being affected by radiation, these women will not have to have menopausal treatment and can produce healthy eggs.”

A full report can be found in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Story filed: 22:05 Wednesday 26th September 2001

Story from ananova – url below.

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