So, we’ve all heard that a glass of wine can be good for you. Healthy, actually. Then we’ve all heard that it can be harmful. Throw in the mix that some of us suffer from Endometriosis…and that many people try to cut alcohol out of their lifestyle to prevent flare-ups and symptoms. Alcohol is not only harmful to our bodies and livers, but contains a lot of sugar, as well as wreaks havoc on our system. But I like me some vino!
Cutting out alcohol all together is likely your safest bet if you’re wanting to live cleaner and healthier. The liver filters out toxins, as well as estrogen, from the body. As you may have read elsewhere, Endometriosis is an estrogen-fed and reliant disease. If our livers cannot properly filter out estrogen, we are simply empowering our illness. Alcohol is also high in sugar…and we’ve previously discussed how sugar may increase your Endometriosis pain and flare-ups. Studies have shown that alcohol may also increase estrogen levels due to phytoestrogens in alcohol…plant estrogens that mimic human estrogen (…wait…I didn’t know that. Crap.)
You may have read some of my previous blogs about biomarkers…blood tests for things which may help doctors diagnose Endometriosis without surgery, such as CA-125 levels. There are a lot of hopes that indicators may help save costly diagnostic surgeries, surgical risks, and painful recoveries.
A study published on May 1, 2016, reviewed 141 past studies and analyzed the data.
You may have heard that you can’t see Endometriosis on an imaging study. Well, this is true…BUT, it’s not to say that imaging studies are useless in helping to suspect/diagnose Endometriosis. They can spot things that may indicate Endometriosis is present…One such tool is a transvaginal ultrasound (aka TVU, TVS, or TVUS).
Have you ever heard of, or had, a transvaginal ultrasound? Let me tell you : it’s not the ultrasounds you see in the movies. No cold cream squished onto my belly with a technician rubbing a scanner along my abdomen. Nope…imagine if you will : squishy cold cream rubbed onto the tip of a rather large probe…and said probe is shoved up your hoohaw (yes, that’s a technical term). It allows a better look at your organs around your feminine bits. It’s not the most comfortable procedure in the world…and can downright hurt at times. But…
As you may know, Endometriosis is not limited to just your reproductive bits & pieces. It can implant, grow, and fester in many places; the bowel included. But what does that mean? How do you know if it’s on your bowel? Today’s blog will go into that…Read on, dear Reader…read on. Word of warning : I will be using words like fart and poop! Why dance around the subject with flowery words when I feel like I’m a giggly 12-year-old girl?
It is estimated that between 5-15% (and some even doctors guess it’s actually between 3-34%) of women with Endometriosis suffer from Endo on their bowels. Bowel Endometriosis may affect the colon, the rectum, the large intestine, the small intestine, the colon, or the sigmoid colon. The implants may be physically located on the bowels, or even just located adjacent to them in areas like the Pouch of Douglas, uterosacral ligaments, or rectovaginal septum. The close proximity of the inflamed and irritated lesions may be enough to induce bowel Endometriosis symptoms. And these symptoms may also be caused by adhesions pulling or twisting the bowels.
A lot of people have trouble becoming pregnant, whether or not they have Endometriosis. The question has been raised : if you have Endometriosis and are undergoing frozen embryo transfer (FET), which treatment regimens and protocols have the highest successful pregnancy rate?
I myself have never considered IVF and had to do a bit of initial research on the differences between fresh and frozen embryos, IVF, etc. I am so grateful an EndoWarrior asked this question; brought this struggle to my attention. So if you already know about these, please bear with me as I learn. Otherwise, skip passed these first few categories to the knitty gritty below 🙂
You’ve likely heard that Endometriosis can grow in all sorts of places inside the body. Well, the bladder and urinary tract are no exception. Endometriosis implants can grow on or inside the walls of the bladder or along the urethra.
Common symptoms patients may complain about with bladder Endo are frequently needing to pee, pain when the bladder is full, painful urination, and an urgent need to pee. Some also suffer from blood in their urine when they’re on their cycles (may be hard to distinguish…given the natural course of what a period does…). This urine-blood may not be perceptible to the naked eye and require a lab test. And as usual, many EndoWarriors only have these symptoms during their periods; others have them 24/7. It should also be noted that many with bladder Endo don’t present any symptoms.
So there’s an article that was recently published that has a lot of the EndoCommunity in an uproar today on Facebook. The article was title, “How your sex life may influence endometriosis,” published on May 1, 2015, by MedicalXpress. My initial knee-jerk reaction last night was to be furious.
I interpreted the article as saying that sex can cause and affect Endometriosis growth; to be more precise: seminal fluid can affect Endo growth. Semen. Baby-MoJo. I’ve had my Endo pain since my early years in high school. And I did not have sex until I was 21. And my cramps were pretty damn bad back then. How dare a study suggest that sexual activity had anything to do to heighten my endo symptoms or progression. And my outrage was further fueled by others’ reactions about the same conclusion.
I’ve decided to take my time, read the study slowly, and try to digest what it is the study is trying to tell us. Wait. Step back. Breathe, breathe. Relax. Now go read the study…