Women with endometriosis are 176,000,000 strong world wide, and over 8,000,000 in North America. They suffer pain with exercise, pain with sex, pain with bowel movements, pain with full bladders, pain with pelvic exams, pain mid-cycle, during the period or through out the cycle. Nearly 75% of them have been dismissed as neurotic at some point in their attempts to find adequate care. More so if they have failed any of the standard treatments (all of which are inadequate).
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus are found through out the abdominal cavity and sometimes elsewhere causing severe pain. They cause bleeding in the surrounding tissue, but most of the lesions themselves do not bleed. But they create blood and free fluid in the abdomen, which causes a predictable, inflammatory and very painful response. Old myths indicated that endometriosis came from menstrual blood backing up and bringing parts of the endometrium that lines the uterus with it, to implant and grow. Modern science has shown these two tissues while similar are not the same at all, they are not physically or metabolically alike.
As treatment they are told to get pregnant, have a hysterectomy (castration, lets call it what it is,) or take health damaging drugs which mimic either or both, while giving masculinizing side effects. None of these options work.
Safe it to say, that if 8 million North American men suffered unbearable pain during exercise , sex or bowel movements and were offered as treatment feminizing hormones, pregnancy, or surgical castration………….endometriosis would be a an international emergency to which we would transfer our combined defense budgets.
What does work, is Modern Concepts. These ideas were developed and enhanced by a gynecologist in Bend Oregon in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when he began to see things in his patients both symptom-wise and at surgery that did not fit with the things he was taught in medical school.
As he began to biopsy all of the abnormal lesions he found in the pelvis, very quickly the black lesions thought to be the standard presentation of endometriosis were found to be positive only half the time. However, the other abnormalites found there were positive for endometriosis by evidenced by the pathology reports.
As he searched the literature, he began to find a smattering of others who noticed that endo had many colors and many locations and even a few doctors advocated removal of teh diseaese, and that in most cases one or two well done surgeries could cure the patient. This of course flew in the face of 100 years of myths that had built up around the disease and continue to drive medical care for these women today.
There are 52,000 gynecologist in the USA and several more thousand in Canada. Less than 100 have been identified as doing effective surgery on women with endometriosis, and yet they all consider themselves experts. As patients fail the ineffective surgical and medical therapies, the patients are likely to be dimissed as neurotic. Over 75% have reported this as noted by several authors.
Shirley Pearce of the UK , a noted gynecological professor, did a literature review on women with pelvic pain and published it in a text called Psychological and Gynecological Problems. In Chapter 6 she discusses the testing done on women with chronic pelvic pain, and finds that MMPI studies reveal that most will have an abnormal pyschological profiles. These profiles reach from simple neurosis, to schizophrenia and psychosis. She further noted that most studies did not revisit women’s testing once pelvic pain was relieved. But those who did retest their psychological profiles almost all were found to retest normal or near normal.
These psychological profiles are abnormal simply because they cannot cope with peritoneal quality pain. This kind of pain demands intervention and pain management in any other condition but in women with endometriosis, it is somehow unacceptably dismissable.
Dr Redwine’s work dispelled many other myths about endometriosis including that endo does not spread, they hysterectomy does not cure endo, that the disease goes through age related color appearance changes, that true recurrence when completely and carefully resected is quite low. Pain relief is dramatic and long lasting. While he is no longer in practice, many others have taken up the approach to this disease and are finding that they are restoring lives and stopping endo in its tracks.