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Endometriosis – could it be affecting your fertility?

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis affects one in ten women in the UK. It is a condition where cells similar to the ones in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body, such as in the muscles of the womb, wall of a fallopian tube, ovaries, bladder, bowel or even the lungs.

Symptoms of endometriosis include:

- Chronic pelvic pain

- Heavy, painful periods

- Painful intercourse

- Gut symptoms (pain, constipation, bloating, diarrhoea, nausea)

- Bladder pain, urgency & frequency

- Fatigue

- Infertility

It can take an average of six to twelve years to receive a diagnosis of endometriosis, and for some people infertility is the only symptom!

If you have endometriosis symptoms it is important in the first instance that you go to your GP, however nutritional therapy can be very helpful in managing the condition.

What causes endometriosis?

There are a number of theories as to the causes of endometriosis, which include;

  • Environmental factors – there is research showing an association between endometriosis and chemicals which interfere with hormones in the body, known as endocrine disrupting chemicals.

  • Immune issues - endometriosis is thought to be associated with an interaction with the immune system, where the body is unable to destroy the endometrial tissue which is growing outside of the womb.

  • Autoimmunity – research also shows that endometriosis may be an autoimmune condition.

  • Retrograde menstruation -this is where there is a back flow of blood from the uterus.

  • Family history – there is a genetic predisposition to developing endometriosis, so understanding family history is important.

Supporting endometriosis when you are trying to conceive.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for endometriosis. Conventional treatment involves managing the symptoms via pain medication, hormonal treatment, or surgery via laparoscopy which can help to remove endometrial lesions. This surgery may help to improve fertility, especially within the first six months of having the treatment.

The good news is that nutritional therapy can be very effective in helping to naturally support the condition, and improve fertility.

Here are some ways you can support your fertility with endometriosis through diet and lifestyle:

  • Lower inflammation - this includes reducing or removing anything in your diet that might be increasing inflammation such as, alcohol, gluten, diary, and sugar.

  • Focus on an anti-inflammatory diet – as endometriosis is an inflammatory condition, it is important to eat plenty of foods which are anti-inflammatory, this includes; lots of colourful vegetables and fruit, healthy fats, plant proteins, wholegrains, herbs, and spices .

  • Support your digestive function - make sure you're eating plenty of fibre and having healthy bowel movements to detoxify used hormones, particularly oestrogen.

  • Stress management - stress can exacerbate endometriosis symptoms, so putting in place strategies to manage your stress is key.

  • Alternative therapies - consider seeing a pelvic massage specialist to help manage pain and promote relaxation.

If you would like some support with endometriosis book your free Fertility Review to find out how I can help you.

Julia Young Nutrition T: 0771 589 0894

Disclaimer: Nutritional Therapy is not a replacement for medical advice, practitioners always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. The information provided here is general and is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any diseases or conditions.


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