Endometriosis – The silent and neglected disease among women

According to the Endometriosis foundation of America, over 7 million women in the US suffer from endometriosis. Additionally, endometriosis is the leading cause of infertility and hysterectomy and is the only known precursor to ovarian cancer. Endometriosis, also known as “endo”, occurs when tissue that normally lines the uterus migrates outside the uterine cavity.  Symptoms of endometriosis include pelvic pain, bleeding between menstrual periods, infertility, and digestive problems.  Because endometriosis is diagnosed with an invasive surgical technique, many women remain undiagnosed. 

Endometriosis reduces quality of life and contributes to absenteeism at work1.  Additionally, endometriosis impacts social life and mental health. Current non-surgical treatments include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and hormonal treatments. Evidence from other ongoing participant centric research known as ‘Citizen Endo’ suggests that women are using other methods such as cannabis and alcohol to help manage their pain2.  There is preliminary evidence that the endocannabinoid system can play an important role in managing endometriosis pain, and therefore women may be self-medicating with cannabis products to reduce dependence on opioid based pain relief3.  Fifty six percent of cannabis users reported being able to reduce their endometriosis related medication by more than 50% and another 27% percent of users reported being able to reduce medication by 25–50%4.

The cause of endometriosis is currently being researched, but researchers are currently studying a correlation with a dysfunctional immune system. We know that cannabis is effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults5.  Our immune cells play a role in the manifestation of chronic inflammation, so it is not surprising that women are turning to cannabis as a form of self-treatment for endometriosis. As a Registered Nurse, I find the reduction of medication appealing. NSAIDS such as ibuprofen and Tylenol can cause GI upset, liver toxicity, and kidney failure. The years I spent working as a med-surge nurse included many patients suffering from GI bleeds. Unsurprisingly, most of these patients live with chronic pain and take OTC pain relievers. Are you interested in learning how you can supplement your endometriosis and pelvic pain with CBD? Schedule your free consultation with me today! As always, please consult with your healthcare provider before starting CBD or any hemp product.TwoMoonsCBDnurse@gmail.com

1.     Nnoaham KE, Hummelshoj L, Webster P, d’Hooghe T, de Cicco Nardone F, de Cicco Nardone C, Jenkinson C, Kennedy SH, Zondervan KT, World Endometriosis Research Foundation Global Study Of Women’s Health c: Impact of endometriosis on quality of life and work productivity: a multicenter study across ten countries. Fertil Steril 2011, 96(2):366–373 e368.

2.     https://medium.com/@citizen_endo/challenge-1-results-88b62abd96b

3.     Bouaziz J, Bar On A, Seidman DS, Soriano D. The clinical significance of endocannabinoids in endometriosis pain management. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):72–80.

4.     Self-management strategies amongst Australian women with endometriosis: a national online survey Mike Armour, Justin Sinclair, K. Jane Chalmers, Caroline A. Smith BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019; 19: 17. Published online 2019 Jan 15.

5.    http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2017/Cannabis-Health-Effects/Cannabis-conclusions.pdf

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