Endometriosis and adenomyosis are chronic gynaecological diseases affecting 11% and 20-35% of women respectively. Individuals with adenomyosis often have endometriosis, with features of the two conditions overlapping. Some women can be asymptomatic, as disease severity (the extent of endometrial lesions) does not correlate with the presence or severity of symptoms. This can make diagnosis challenging. It takes an average of 7.5 years from the first onset of symptoms for a woman to be diagnosed with endometriosis, which means a lot of women don’t receive early endometriosis treatment in Melbourne. Awareness of adenomyosis remains poor, and diagnostic delays are similar to that of endometriosis. Even after diagnosis and adenomyosis treatment in Melbourne via laparoscopic surgery, recurrence of both symptoms and disease remain high, with up to 45% of women readmitted for surgery within 5 years. Naturopathic management aims to lower presenting symptoms, prevent disease progression and extend recurrence times.
Endometriosis occurs where tissue similar to the endometrium (lining of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus. This tissue proliferates in and around the pelvic region and attaches to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel and bladder. Endometriosis can lead to cystic lesions called endometriomas, sometimes referred to as ‘chocolate cysts’.
Adenomyosis occurs in the muscle layer of the uterine wall, and if concentrated in one area, it can lead to a mass called an adenomyoma. This can cause pain, heavy periods and fertility issues in some women.
The causes of endometriosis and adenomyosis remain unclear, however, evidence strongly suggests that it is a combination of genetic, hormonal, inflammatory and immune factors. These factors can be further compounded by environmental and lifestyle stressors.
The symptoms of these conditions can include:
A naturopath will take a thorough case history to determine underlying factors and adopt an individualised treatment plan that incorporates herbal and nutritional medicine, as well as diet and lifestyle support. They will address current symptoms, provide menstrual pain treatment, optimise fertility potential and refer for further investigation when necessary, ultimately aiming to improve quality of life. Naturopaths incorporate strategies to lower inflammation and immune involvement whilst modulating hormone levels. Often an interdisciplinary approach to care may involve naturopaths, gynaecologists and pelvic health physiotherapists working together to enhance overall health outcomes.
Want to talk to someone about endometriosis and adenomyosis, or looking for adenomyosis or endometriosis treatment in Melbourne? Contact Melbourne Natural Medicine Clinic today to arrange a consultation at our clinic.