You had no idea just how much that one word would change your life.
You understand the importance of education and are beginning to understand what this diagnosis means in the here-and-now.
But what can you expect in the months and years to come?
Can endometriosis spread?
Are you worried you might be at risk?
This guide explains where endometriosis can grow, what to look for, and how to get relief.
Table of Contents
- What is Endometriosis? An Overview of Endo Discomfort
- How Does Endometriosis Grow?
- Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis Growth
- How Can I Reduce Endometriosis Growth?
- Where Can Endometriosis Spread in the Body?
- How Quickly Does Endometriosis Spread?
- What Happens if Endometriosis Spreads to Other Organs?
- Treatment for Endometriosis: How to Get Relief
What is Endometriosis? An Overview of Endo Discomfort
Endometriosis is a female disease in which the tissue found inside the uterus, also known as the endometrium, grows outside the uterus.
The symptoms of endometriosis seriously suck:
- Intense menstrual cramping
- Painful periods with heavy bleeding
- Pain in your low back, pelvis, abdomen, vagina, or rectum
- Chronic fatigue
- Pain when using the bathroom
- Pain during or after sex
- Diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
And get this.
Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women worldwide and the average woman is 27 when diagnosed.
If you’re dealing with this disease, I want to assure you, you’re not alone. And you’ve come to the right place for education and support.
How Does Endometriosis Grow?
Ideally, the endometrial tissue within your uterus builds up each month and is then shed from your body during your period.
Unless you have endometriosis.
In that case, your body is unable to effectively release that tissue.
So, over time, this unshed tissue builds up and becomes trapped, causing scarring, inflammation, and even cysts.
Not only that, but the tissue that has spread to other areas of your body is on the same cycle as your period.
Meaning, when a woman with endometriosis menstruates, she not only has bleeding from the cells and tissue inside her uterus, but she can also have bleeding, irritation, and inflammation from the cells and tissue outside her uterus.
It’s just as painful as it sounds.
Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis Growth
- Stage 1 (Minimal) This stage is characterized by superficial implants with little-to-no scarring.
- Stage 2 (Mild) Here the implants go deeper into the tissue and may result in scarring.
- Stage 3 (Moderate) At this point, there are many deep implants, cysts on one or both ovaries, and thick, filmy bands of scar tissue, known as adhesions
- Stage 4 (Severe) The endometriosis is now much more widespread, resulting in numerous deep implants, adhesions, and large ovarian cysts.
And, rather than describing the level of pain a woman experiences, the 4 stages refer to:
- The size of the endometrial lesions
- The number of lesions
- Where the lesions are located on the body
- The depth of the lesions (whether they are located on the surface of an organ or deep within)
How do you know if your endometriosis is spreading inside your body?
Interestingly enough, you aren’t always able to tell.
For this reason, you’ll want to find a physician you can really connect with and who is well-versed in all things endo.
How Can I Reduce Endometriosis Growth?
If you’re anything like me, at this point you’re wondering what, if anything, can be done to slow or reduce endometriosis spread?
Since endo is considered an estrogen-dependent disease, keeping your estrogen levels low can go a long way in slowing its growth.
This means you’ll want to do your very best to avoid consuming soy products, since soy is high in estrogen, and steer clear of estrogen-based birth control.
Consuming large amounts of alcohol and caffeine isn’t recommended either.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that exercise has proven to be a necessary tool for the management of endometriosis.
You’ll want to take it easy when it comes to your endometriosis exercise routine, however.
Focus on walking and gentle stretching, as vigorous exercise can actually make your symptoms worse.
Where Can Endometriosis Spread in the Body?
Endometriosis most commonly occurs in
- The fallopian tubes
- The ovaries
- The tissue surrounding the ovaries and uterus
But, as the disease progresses, it can sometimes spread to other parts of the body, including
- The bowel
- The bladder
- The intestines
- The vagina
- The rectum
How Quickly Does Endometriosis Spread?
This can vary greatly from one woman to the next.
Diet and genetics, as well as the use of contraceptives, all play an important role in whether or not your endometriosis spreads.
And if so, how quickly.
What Happens if Endometriosis Spreads to Other Organs?
We’ve talked about the common places for endometriosis to grow, but where else can endometriosis spread?
And what organs can endometriosis affect?
In very rare instances, endometriosis has been known to migrate to
- The diaphragm
- The lungs
- The colon
Studies have also shown that women with endometriosis are at a greater risk for heart disease.
We may as well tackle that elephant in the room and answer the question no one wants to ask:
Can you die from endometriosis?
The fact is that while endometriosis itself isn’t considered a fatal disease, it can cause potentially life-threatening conditions.
So, again, it’s critically important to stay in close contact with your doctor.
Treatment for Endometriosis: How to Get Relief
So now what?
How can you get relief from the torture of endometriosis?
The path you choose for treatment is going to depend on just how severe your symptoms are and will be different for every woman.
Isn’t it great to know that you have some options?
Medical Treatment for Endometriosis
If your endometriosis has been contained to a small space, either within or outside your uterus, you may find relief through pain medications.
These can be the over-the-counter variety or may be prescribed by your endo doctor.
Hormone therapy, including some forms of birth control, may also be a path to consider.
But be aware, if choosing the hormonal route, you may experience side effects in the form of:
- Mood swings
- Lowered libido
- Vaginal irritation
If the disease has spread, you may hear the word “surgery” brought up as an option.
Natural Treatment for Endometriosis
Many women, myself included, have had great success by treating our endo naturally.
And natural treatments can not only bring relief from your endometriosis symptoms but can leave you feeling healthier and more energetic all the way around.
My endometriosis diet is a proven tool for fighting disease and can easily be adapted to meet your individual needs.
The Endo Diet is one that’s:
- Low in processed sugar
In addition to focusing on healthy eating, you may also find it worth your time to check out:
- Progesterone cream
- Omega-3 fatty acids
And in your quest for natural solutions, be sure to try the all-natural personal lube I created specifically for those of us with endometriosis.
It’s made up of just 6 natural ingredients and contains no:
Regardless of what the future of your endometriosis journey holds, Chiavaye is here to support you every step of the way.