Today is the second part of the 2-part series on what NaProTechnology can offer for Endometriosis.
Last week I talked about what endometriosis is, how it is diagnosed and how it can affect a woman’s fertility chart and her hormones.
If you remember, 1 out of 10 women suffer from endometriosis.
Can anything be done to help women suffering with endometriosis?
The answer is Yes.
But, first let us address some of the Myths surrounding endometriosis and the available treatments.
Endometriosis & Treatment Myths – Taken from the Endometriosis Foundation of America
Myth #1: Endometriosis only occurs in women over 20
Fact: Endometriosis can first occur when a girl gets her first period
Myth #2: Pregnancy cures endometriosis
Fact: There is no cure for endometriosis. Women can experience a reduction in symptoms during pregnancy due to the elevated progesterone levels.
Myth #3: A hysterectomy will cure endometriosis
Fact: Again, there is no cure for endometriosis. Women who undergo a hysterectomy still experience pain associated with endometriosis. Most endometriosis does not grow on reproductive organs. So, if you remove the uterus without removing the lesions, the woman will still experience pain.
Current Treatments for Endometriosis
- Surgery such as ablation or cauterization
According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, “these surgeries only remove the tissue on the surface but neglect the tissue growing beneath the surface.
In most cases, ablation/cauterization surgery will not be effective for long-term management of endometriosis because the tissue remains below the surface. Excess scar tissue can also form using these methods.
In many cases, the inflammation following ablation and cauterization can be another source of pain.”
- Hysterectomy – see Myth #3 information above
- Symptom treatment only
Medical therapy using oral contraceptives, IUD, Lupron, danazol and/or pain killers (NSAIDS). These may offer temporary relief, but no medication can be used effectively for endometriosis-related infertility.
In addition, according to Dr. Hilgers, while pain relief may occur with these medications, the medications are often given without a definitive diagnosis and they have a long list of side effects.
The side effects associated with contraceptives cannot be understated. And, sometimes women’s symptoms become worse after stopping the contraceptives, especially the Pill.
Finally, hormonal treatments such as contraceptives have no long-term effects on the disease.
Dr. Hilgers found that the recurrence rate of the endometriosis is virtually 100% when treated with medications.
The Gold Standard of Treatment
Ultimately, endometriosis is a surgical disease. The gold standard for treatment for endometriosis is laparoscopic excision surgery.
During laparoscopic excision surgery, the surgeon will carefully excise, or remove, the entire lesion from wherever it grows. This includes the tissue beneath the surface.
Endometriosis acts like an iceberg, where the disease is both above the surface and in the tissue below.
Excision surgery removes the disease both above and below the surface.
An effective surgical treatment must consistently and reproducibly eradicate the disease.
An extensive meta-analysis done in 1998 and published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine has shown that surgical treatment is the superior treatment for endometriosis-related infertility.
The key is to find a qualified, trained physician who can do this kind of treatment properly. That is where NaProTechnology comes in.
Dr. Thomas Hilgers, a reproductive specialist who created NaProTechnology, has spent the last 30 plus years perfecting this kind of surgery so that the endometriosis can be successfully removed and reproductive function can be preserved.
Dr. Hilgers states that “to improve fertility, endometriosis must be removed so that the inflammatory toxins can be removed, thereby improving fertility.”
He then recommends treating the underlying hormonal and target organ dysfunction, thereby improving fertility.
In Dr. Hilgers practice, he has found that the recurrence rate after the areas of endometriosis have been removed by laser at the time of laparoscopy is less than 20 percent. When the areas are surgically removed, the recurrence rate is less than 7 percent.
I cannot emphasize enough the benefit of using a NaProTechnology doctor for treatment of endometriosis. NaProTechnology surgeons are trained in the latest technologies so that they can preserve fertility and help with targeted hormonal support.
Successful hormonal support is usually needed in women with infertility and that can be done properly using the Creighton Model fertility chart and NaProTechnology protocols.
Endometriosis is a condition that affects a large number of women and can adversely affect their quality of life and their fertility.
Dr. Hilgers believes that it is a disease that should be aggressively identified and treated. In women of reproductive age, treatment should be aimed at preserving reproductive function if that is desired.
There are also some things you can do alongside seeking out a NaProTechnology surgeon. Regular exercise, an anti-inflammatory diet and nutrition supplements can also help improve symptoms without the side effects of hormonal contraceptives.
The important thing is that there is help available for endometriosis. You are not alone. There are doctors ready and willing to help alleviate the disease of endometriosis.
You can find a NaProTechnology doctor near you by going to www.fertilitycare.org.