There are three approaches to treating endometriosis.

  • Surgery
  • Balance hormones
  • Reduce congestion and inflammation

Surgery

In women with severe endometriosis surgical treatment is the most effective. Surgeons will remove displaced endometrial tissue, where possible, via laparoscopy. In most cases, after surgical removal of endometriosis, you should try to conceive over the next 3 – 6 months, during which time you will be most fertile. Unfortunately, removal is not necessarily the magic bullet cure we’d like it to be, as endometrial tissue can grow back over time. How quickly the tissue regrows differs between individuals and natural approaches can help reduce regrowth.

Balancing hormones
Medications

  • The Pill, Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist, Progestin, Danazol
  • These medications are prescribed to women with endometriosis to help to correct hormonal imbalance. The aim of these treatments is to reduce the excess estrogen in relation to progesterone. This helps to slow or prevent further growth of displaced tissue and reduce symptoms. These medications are also contraceptives, blocking conception, and are therefore not able to be used when trying to conceive.

Herbs

  • Vitex
  • Vitex is one of the most commonly used herbs, prescribed for its progesterone enhancing action. This helps to rebalance the estrogen dominance associated with endometriosis
  • Natural progesterone cream
  • Natural progesterone creams are generally derived from either wild yam or soybeans. The active ingredient, diosgenin, synthesised into a molecular structure identical to human progesterone. These are sometimes referred to as ‘human-identical’ or ‘bio-identical’ progesterone. The cream is rubbed into the skin for absorption into the blood stream.

Hormone balancing herbs should not be self-prescribed. See your natural fertility specialist or other qualified health care professional for dose recommendations.

Reducing congestion and inflammation
The excess endometrial tissue leads to a great deal of congestion within the reproductive system. Every month as bleeding occurs scar tissue builds up, further exacerbating this congestion.

Herbs

  • Calendula
    • Calendula is an excellent herb for improving lymphatic drainage and reducing internal congestion, which can be an issue for those with endometriosis. It also helps to reduce muscle spasms and heavy menstrual bleeding as well as providing beneficial anti-inflammatory action.
      Recommended dose –
  • Turmeric
    • Turmeric supports detoxification pathways to help further reduce congestion as well as imparting strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.
      Recommended dose –

For best results using these herbs, consult your natural fertility specialist.

Nutrition
Foods to increase
To help ease the congestion and inflammation associated with endometriosis your diet should focus on

  • Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables
  • For women with endometriosis, fruits and vegetables should form the bulk of your diet. Eating organic where possible maximises the availability of essential nutrients and helps reduce inflammation due to the lack of chemical intervention.
  • Cruciferous vegetables
    • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage, collards greens and mustard greens are particularly beneficial for women with endometriosis as they contain a nutrient known as diindolymethane which supports hormone balance by assisting in the breakdown of estrogen.
  • High fibre
    • Fibre helps cleanse the body, reducing congestion and supporting the excretion of excess estrogen
  • Oily fish, nuts, seeds and other sources of essential fatty acids
    • Essential fatty acids help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with endometriosis

The 90 day fertility diet has been specifically designed to help reduce inflammation and congestion and support fertility, conception and the progression of a healthy pregnancy.

Foods to decrease
In cases of endometriosis it’s important to avoid foods that have been shown to exacerbate inflammation and congestion, these include

  • Wheat and gluten
    • Studies have linked high wheat intake with increased pain in endometriosis. Gluten sensitivity and intolerance have also been found to be more common in women with endometriosis.
  • Dairy
    • Dairy can contribute to congestion within the body, with popular homogenised, pasteurised cow’s milk being one of the hardest dairy products to digest and most congestive. The best forms of dairy to consume are organic natural yogurts and where possible choose milk alternatives such as almond, rice or oat milk (soy milk is not recommended due to it’s estrogenic properties).
  • Red meat
    • Red meat can exacerbate inflammation so should be limited to 3 times per week or less. Ideally meat should be organic. Studies also suggest minimising ham and pork intake.
  • Toxins
    • Toxins of all forms increase the load on detoxification pathways, contributing to increased congestion and inflammation. To help minimise your toxic load you should
      • Eat organic
      • Use organic body products and make-up
      • Use eco-friendly, low chemical detergents and cleaning products
      • Use natural feminine hygiene products
      • Avoid all exposure to pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers

Following the 90 day fertility diet is an ideal way to help reduce symptoms and support conception for women with endometriosis.

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