Endometriosis is a painful condition where tissue that normally lines the inside of uterus, the endometrium grows outside the uterus. It is usually found in the pelvis or lower abdomen but can appear anywhere in the body. Endometriosis forms deep inside the body as the tissue continues to thicken and break down, mostly in response to menstrual cycle hormones and bleeding during the menstrual cycle. Scar tissues can also cause anatomical changes and organ fusion. Around 11% of women in the United States between the age group of 15 to 44 years are affected by endometriosis.
Endometriosis is classified into four stages:
– Stage I (Minimal) : Lesions in stage I are isolated and minimum.
– Stage II (Mild) : Lesions are mild as adhesions are possible.
– Stage III ( Moderate) : Lesions are moderate, superficial or deep with clear adhesions.
– Stage IV (Severe) : Lesions are severe and multiple, both deep as well as superficial with prominent adhesions.
A person with stage I endometriosis may have sever pain but little disease where a person with stage IV may have no pain and severe disease or vice versa.
The symptoms of endometriosis are often associated with menstrual periods. Women suffering from endometriosis describe menstrual pain as being far worse than usual while the pain may also increase over time. Some of the common symptoms of endometriosis are:
– Pain with intercourse
– Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
– Excessive bleeding
– Pain with bowel movements or urination
– Infertility in some cases
Even though the exact causes of endometriosis aren’t certain, following are the possible explanations that can cause the disorder:
– Fetal Development
– Embryonic cell growth
– Menstrual flow problems
– Fetal development
– Surgical scar
– Endometrial cell transport
– Immune system
Some of the risk factors associate with the disorder are:- Starting periods at early age
– Menopause at older age
– Heavy menstrual periods
– Short menstrual cycles
– Low body mass index
– Higher levels of estrogen in the body
– Prevention of normal passage of menstrual flow because of any medical condition
– Reproductive tract abnormalities
While there are no cure for endometriosis, there are treatments to help ease the symptoms which normally involves surgery or medication. The form of treatment usually depends on the stage and severity of symptom. Usually surgery is only considered if other treatments are not effective. There have been researches that shows how CBD can help treat symptoms of endometriosis. A study was conducted to identify the potential role cannabinoid receptors has in inflammatory endometrial tissue and its inflammation. It was concluded that CB2 receptor plays a role as a novel prognostic factor in endometrial inflammation. Similarly, a survey conducted in Australia suggested that self management through CBD was common among women with endometriosis as they reported to be highly effective. Likewise, another research suggested that endocannabinoids can regulate the innervation of endometriosis’s abnormal growths and CBD can be effective in reducing the endometriosis symptoms.
Endometriosis can be a challenge to manage as its symptoms can affect a patient on a day to day basis. Surgeries can sometimes lead to further medical complications such as infections, damaged to affected organs or bleeding. As CBD can help manage some of the common symptoms of the disorder like nausea and pain management, it can be beneficial for patients suffering from endometriosis.