Endometriosis occurs when the tissues from the lining of the uterus called endometrial lesions, seep into other organs in the lower abdominal area of the body such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, lymph nodes, and peritoneum.
The female uterus is lined by some tissues which thicken before menstruation to allow for successful embryo implantation if pregnancy were to occur.
If pregnancy does not occur, the tissue breaks down and is naturally discharged from the body during menstruation.
However, some of the endometrial tissue can flow out of the uterus into other organs during menstruation.
Displaced endometrial tissue cannot be naturally expelled from the body so the endometrial tissues just plant themselves wherever they find themselves, causing a buildup of tissues that can cause pain and affect other bodily functions as they grow bigger.
The buildup of endometrial tissues in odd parts of the body, along with the pain and discomfort that accompanies it, is what’s known as endometriosis.
Endometriosis can have severe consequences on a woman’s health. Besides the excruciating pains, endometriosis can equally cause:
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Heavy menstrual bleeding with long periods that last more than 7 days
- Severe period pains that defy pain medications
- Urinary problems
- Bowel discomfort and pains especially bloating, constipation, and diarrhea
- Bleeding in between periods
Endometriosis also causes infertility in half of the women suffering from the condition and increases your risk of suffering from ovarian cancer.
According to a research report published in the American Journal for Obstetrics and Gynecology, probiotics can aid prevention and stall the onset of endometriosis.
Probiotics are good bacteria that look like the naturally occurring ones in the human body. Probiotics are naturally present in many foods and nutritional supplements that when consumed daily, can help maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the body.
Here are five important facts to know about using probiotics to prevent and manage endometriosis:
Probiotics Can Help to Prevent Endometriosis
Hormonal imbalance has been identified as one of the major risk factors for endometriosis. Hormonal imbalance can lead to excessive production of the estrogen hormone, which helps to stimulate the growth of endometrial lesions.
And since gut health plays a significant role in maintaining hormonal balance, managing your gut health can be a very helpful way to prevent and reduce the symptoms of endometriosis.
Just like the vagina has its unique ecosystem filled with good and bad bacteria coexisting together, your gut also has millions of good and bad bacteria living within it (Gut microbiota).
The balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut must be maintained because gut bacteria microflora plays a crucial role in maintaining hormonal balance in the body.
When gut bacteria loses balance, hormonal imbalance can occur. In this case, some hormones are produced in excess while some are insufficient.
Therefore, a beneficial means to prevent endometriosis from occurring is to manage your gut health with probiotics.
Probiotics Can Help to Reduce the Pains and Symptoms of Endometriosis
When endometrial tissues and menstrual blood seepa into the abdominal cavity, it throws the gut microflora out of balance and causes inflammation – a major cause of the excruciating pains and discomfort that you feel when suffering from endometriosis.
Incorporating probiotic supplements and foods into your daily diet will not only help prevent the onset of endometriosis, but it will also help in managing the pains and symptoms of endometriosis.
90% of Women Have Endometrial Tissues and Blood Flow into Their Abdomen during Menstruation
No woman is completely safe from the risks of developing endometriosis because researchers have found out that at least 90% of women have endometrial tissues and blood flow into their abdomen during menstruation.
However, women who have good gut health are generally protected from the risks of developing endometriosis.
Taking Probiotic Supplements and Foods Daily Can Prevent Endometriosis
Every woman needs to take probiotic supplements and incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your daily diet to prevent endometriosis.
There are a lot of things that can throw the gut microflora out of balance. Taking antibiotic drugs or smoking, for instance, can easily send your gut health out of whack and expose you to the risks of developing endometriosis.
It is sometimes impossible to completely protect yourself from gut health imbalance these days due to lifestyle and dietary choices.
However, making a conscious effort to include probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods in your daily diet can go a long way in ensuring that your gut microflora stays balanced.
Kombucha, Sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, tempeh, miso, feta, gouda, cheddar, and kimchi are examples of probiotic-rich foods that you can include in your diet.
Probiotics Can Help to Reduce the Risks of Ovarian Cancer in Women Suffering from Endometriosis
Endometriosis increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer. One study found that at least 50% of women who have endometriosis go on to develop ovarian cancer.
Along with aiding the management of gut microflora, probiotics also help in maintaining healthy microflora in the vagina and other reproductive organs, thus reducing the risks of developing ovarian cancer.
Since 90% of women are at risk of developing endometriosis, the best way to protect your endometrial health is to be proactive about it.
Don’t wait until it happens, visit a doctor for an examination to be sure you are not at risk, and start taking probiotics to reduce your risk of developing endometriosis.
Dani Fogel. is a Communication Coordinator at Brandable, based in Los Angeles, CA. She works on the Queen V brand within the company’s Digital and Ecommerce department.