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Pregnant Padma had Endo
a blog by Beth and Tami of Pulling Down the Moon
It’s always interesting when Hollywood and the infertility world intersect. This week, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi announced she is pregnant despite her long-term struggle with endometriosis.
While we do not know if Padma experienced infertility as a result of endo, it’s estimated that 30-40% of women with the condition do. Endometriosis can be marked by painful periods, spotting, low back pain, painful intercourse and painful bowel movements as scar tissue that normally lines the uterus grows in other areas of the body, especially in the pelvic region.
Ironically, one way to ease the symptoms of endometriosis is pregnancy. For those of us having a difficult time of it, there are other ways to manage the condition in the quest for restoring optimal fertility. Medicines that create a pseudo-pregnancy in the body (reducing estrogen production) are some of the many interventions doctors prescribe. For those with a lot of scar tissue, laparoscopic surgery might be considered.
Other women are achieving pregnancy without medical intervention or in conjunction with it. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture have long believed that endometriosis can be a result of blood or energy stagnation in the body. While a TCM diagnosis is always made based on the individual patient, acupuncture has been widely shown to promote blood circulation, regulate the endocrine system and might act as an analgesic by elevating levels of endorphins in the body; all possible benefits in the treatment of endo.
Certain types of massage including the FEM protocol at Pulling Down the Moon, internal pelvic massage and Maya Abdominal Massage can all be helpful in lessening pain, and inducing the relaxation response in the body. In addition, some of the techniques used during a session can be taught to the patient so a self-care program at home can be established.
With regard to nutrition, research suggests that inflammation in the body may be a cause of endometriosis. In addition to behaviors like smoking and consuming too much alcohol, it is believed other dietary habits such as poor blood sugar regulation, too much red meat, excess consumption of refined carbohydrates and even stress might contribute to the disease. A good fertility nutritionist should be able to guide a patient in diet and lifestyle choices that can help “ease the pain.”
As with many holistic fertility options, it is believed that we can hop on one leg toward well-being or run on two. The integration of holistic therapies with medical intervention might be the quickest way for endometriosis patients to be pain-free and fully fertile.
Who knows, perhaps one of these days Padma will share her fertility story and successes with all of us. One thing’s for sure, that baby will certainly be eating some great food these next nine months!
Be present, be positive, be a star!