Getting Pregnant with Endometriosis – A Natural Treatment

Getting Pregnant with Endometriosis

This article introduces getting pregnant with endometriosis through a natural treatment. Evidence shows endometriosis can respond well to diet and other non-invasive adjustments.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a painful condition which can impact fertility, in which endometrial tissue, which lines the uterus, can appear in the pelvic cavity and elsewhere in the body where it doesn’t belong. Endometriosis is one of the most frequent diseases in gyneacology, affecting 15-20% of women that are getting pregnant with endometriosis, contributing to 5% cases of infertility.

Scientists do not know exactly how the tissue ends up where it doesn’t belong but there are a number of theories which I mention below.

Regardless of where it is located this endometrial tissue will behave in the same way as the uterus lining by responding to monthly cycling of hormones and bleeds during menstruation. In the case of Endometriosis, because the shed endometrial tissue and blood in other parts of the body can not leave the body through the vagina as the menstrual blood can, it forms scar tissue and painful adhesions. Endometrial growths are most commonly found in the pelvic cavity and can grow on ovaries, pelvic ligaments, tubes, bowel and bladder.

There are a few theories as to how the tissue manages to migrate. Some suggesting retrograde flow of menstrual blood and seeding or attaching to other tissues, while others suggest endometrial cells being laid down in the wrong places during the embryologic development of the foetus. This theory emerged as it could not be explained how endometrial tissue reached the brain though the retrograde flow of menstrual blood? Many women experience retrograde flow into the abdominal cavity via the fallopian tubes, but this is usually picked up by the immune system and cleaned up by macrophages. Yet another theory suggests that endometrial growths start from stem cells and are caused by a combination of factors. Endometriosis can cause heavy and painful periods, abnormal bleeding and infertility.

As endometriosis has been associated with the presence of auto-antibodies and the presence of other autoimmune diseases, scientists are now suggesting that endometriosis is an autoimmune disease.

Although genetic predisposition, environmental factors and altered immune and endocrine function are believed to play a significant role in endometriosis, the true cause still remains unclear.

How can endometriosis lead to infertility?

If the endometrial tissue grows within the fallopian tubes it can block them. Due to inflammation there are a high number of macrophages in the area which can destroy the sperm and interfere with implantation when attempts of getting pregnant with endometriosis are being made. Ovulation may or may not occur, and even if it does occur there may not be enough progesterone to support the implantation. The risk of ectopic pregnancy is higher than usual. Anti-endometrial antibodies may be responsible for the high incidence of miscarriages and poor implantation often associated with this condition.

10 tips for getting pregnant with endometriosis

The natural treatment of endometriosis incorporates diet, detoxificiation, supplementation and exercise. Endometriosis is viewed as an estrogen dependent condition and the endometrial implants have been shown to reduce in size when estrogen levels in the body normalize or drop. Studies have found that inflammation resulting from bleeding of the endometrial implants each month actually increases estrogen activity. Another contributing factor is low progesterone which can lead to anovulatory cycles.

  1. Eat organically grown food and avoid exposure to commercial insect repellants. Studies have found that exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g., DDT, PCB, pentachlorophenol, hexachlorocyclohexane) has been associated with an increase in rates of miscarriage and endometriosis.
  2. Avoid soft plastics. This includes drinking out of plastic water bottles, storing your food in plastic food wrappers, wearing surgical gloves, buying products in food wrap and touching printing ink with your hands when getting pregnant with endometriosis. What do all these have in common? They contain Phthalates and PVC. Known endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimickers, linked to asthma, negative developmental and birth defects, immune system dysfunction, endometriosis and infertility.
  3. Reduce your intake of animal products. The first line of natural treatment for getting pregnant with endometriosis is to minimize intake of animal products due to the high content of hormones, pesticides and herbicides which are known endocrine disruptors.
  4. Eat bitter foods to support clearance of estrogen via the liver. They are grapefruit, lemons, limes, rocket, endive, romaine lettuce, artichokes. To the same end drink dandelion and St. Mary’s thistle tea.
  5. Avoid allergens and take immune system supplements. As you’ve seen the immune system plays a role in endometriosis. As such you want to make sure you provide your immune system with all the key elements required for optimal function when getting pregnant with endometriosis. They are vitamin C, vitamin E, betacarotene, zinc and selenium and probiotics. In addition have an IgG 90 foods intolerance test. This will show you what foods you are intolerant to. These need to be avoided to help balance the immune system.
  6. Exercise regularly to improve circulation, toxin and waste removal. Exercise also boosts your metabolism (which is good for your endocrine function) and immune system. Both of which are crucial in treatment of getting pregnant with endometriosis.
  7. Include foods that promote circulation and waste removal The following foods and spices promote circulation and waste removal cayenne, basil, chives, eggplant, garlic, ginger, kohlrabi, leek, nutmeg, pepper, rice, rosemary, scallion, spearmint, turmeric, cinnamon, lemons, zest of lemon, seaweed.
  8. Increase your fibre intake to improve estrogen clearance from your intestines including: adzuki beans, psylium husks, apples, other legumes, nuts and seeds.
  9. Take a high quality fish oil (make sure the one you choose is tested for mercury and stabilized with vitamin E (to protect it from oxidation)). Fish oil reduces inflammation associated with endometriosis, minimizing associated pain and improving the odds of a healthy implantation and getting pregnant with endometriosis. I recommend Krill oil (the plankton whales and other fish eat) as it’s less likely to be contaminated. You can get it here. Ideally you want to have 1000mg three times a day with food. Store it in the fridge.
  10. Take an iodine supplement there is an established link between hypothyroidism and endometriosis and so taking an iodine supplement can correct underactive thyroid function.

Conclusion

If your goal is getting pregnant with endometriosis and you are looking for a natural therapy. Treatment with diet and other steps as introduced in this article can address underlying imbalances which are often at the root cause of endometriosis related infertility.

© 2011 Iva Keene and Natural Fertility Prescription

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About Iva Keene MRMed. ND.

Iva Keene is an internationally recognized natural fertility specialist and naturopathic physician who has helped thousands of couples with fertility problems on their path to pregnancy.
This entry was posted in Female Fertility, Fertility Diet and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Getting Pregnant with Endometriosis – A Natural Treatment

  1. rohani says:

    Hi

    I do not eat red meat and I am allergic to seafood. I am also generally not disciplined with supplements.

    However I drink lots of plain water ( I avoid sugared drinks due to diabetic history in family line) and I frequent yohgurt.

    How else can I ensure optimal diet for pregnancy success. Should my husband also eat more of certain foods as he is obese too. Will it affect our rate of getting a baby?

    Thanks.

    • Iva Keene says:

      Hi Rohani,

      Yes, your husband should optimize his diet as well. For the full details on the diet, please see the NFP program in addition to the articles on the blog. All the best, Iva.

  2. Tanya says:

    Thank you for giving us such great information! I am on the NFP program. Just started three weeks. My husband and I are feeling great. I am looking forward to emailing you with our great news that we are preggers.

    • Iva Keene MRepMed. ND. says:

      That’s great Tanya! Thank you for your comment! I look forward to receiving your news! :)

      Warm regards,
      Iva

  3. Sp says:

    Hi Iva

    I being trying to get pregnant since 4 years now. I have been diagnosed with endometriosis. Had 1 failed IVF cycle last October.
    I am vegetarian & also don’t smoke or drink, but I am underweight. Can you please suggest anything which help me to get pregnant fast naturally. Waiting for your reply.

    Thanks,

    Sp

  4. priya says:

    i’ve grade 4 endometriosis. during 2009 i’ve to undergo an operation for cholcolate cysts in my ovaries. this last year i tried ivf as my doctor suggested me. i have to undergo another laprosopy as they found hydrosalfix and the mouth of my uterous moved on the other side. i conceived then suddenly i my usg they found that the sack is only there and the embryo is missing. now i am having pills to clear that . will u please tell me what to do? how to get pregnant?

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