Endometriosis is a complex and painful disease affecting women in their reproductive years which moving forward has risks of culminating into infertility. Thus, endometriosis is a disease that can’t be left unattended. Though there is still no permanent cure of endometriosis, Ayurveda does gurantees some pain relief and controls its escalation to infertility. This expert article by Dr Swathi educates about the co-relation of endometriosis and Ayurveda, and talks about cure options.
The Basics of Endometriosis
Endometriosis is defined as the presence of functioning uterine glands in any site outside the uterus—fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, vagina, urinary bladder and in rare cases, even in the lungs and liver. These implants react to hormonal changes, build up tissues each month, break down and cause bleeding. But they have no way of leaving the body and therefore result in internal bleeding and inflammation.
The biology of endometriosis is unclear. Despite its prevalence, this disease remains poorly understood and current studies prove that there is no relationship between the extent of the disease and its symptoms.
Besides, no blood test helps in the diagnosis of endometriosis. Moreover, to make matters worse, till date, there is no single, successful option for its treatment. But the good news is that endometrial growth is not malignant in most cases; they are normal tissues growing away from the normal location.
Endometriosis could be due to family history in many. The risk of endometriosis is 7 times greater if a first-degree relative has been affected by it. The most common, known symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Dysmenorrhoea (Painful menstruation)
- Menstrual disorder (heavy or irregular bleeding)
- Dyspareunia (Painful intercourse)
- Abdominal pain
However, it is still not very clear how endometriosis causes infertility or how rather how infertility causes endometriosis.
Endometriosis and Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, endometriosis is well understood under ‘Vatala yonivyapd’. In Ayurveda classics, almost all gynaecological disorders are mentioned under the title of yonivyapad which are twenty in number. Yonivyapad is derived from two words, Yoni (Gross reproductive organs) and Vyapad (Roga/disease).
What is Vatala Yonivyapad?
It is well known that treatment in Ayurveda usually begins by understanding the problem based on the doshic theory – vata, pitta, kapha (commonly referred to as tridosha or traya upastambha).
Tridosha is quite a difficult concept to understand from a layman’s point of view. Basically it means every human being is composed of tridosha which in turn is composed of pancha mahabhutas.( pritvi,vayu,agni,teja,akasha – earth, air, fire, water and sky). All these together constitute an essential part of shareera (body).
According to Ayurveda, both the universe and the humans are made up of these 5 elements and from these 5 elements the doshas are derived. Each dosha is attributed to a certain physical and mental feature by which we can classify them to a particular constitution (prakriti) depending on the dominant dosha present . The prakriti are as follows
- People with dominant Vata(constitution or) Prakriti.
- People with dominant Pitta Prakriti.
- People with dominant Kapha Prakriti.
- People with dominant Vata–Pitta Prakriti.
- People with dominant Vata–Kapha Prakriti.
- People with dominant Pitta–Kapha Prakriti.
- People with balanced Doshasor with Vata–Pitta–Kapha Prakriti.
Coming back to vatalayoni vyapad, the explanation is as follows
People with vata prakriti are normally lean, with rough and dry skin and curly, rough hair (the features mentioned are minimal for better understanding) . Faulty lifestyle, such as night outs, exposure to cold breeze, intake of hot and cold foods items at the same time, irregular eating hours, drinking cold water or aerated drinks—all of these contribute to the increase in Vata dosha.
An aggravated vata dosha in the body is bound to cause diseases. The main feature of vata dosha is pain. Pain could be either of the following:
- pricking type
- stabbing type
- spasmodic type
- radiating type
vatala yonivyapad is in fact the end result of mitya(faulty) ahara (food) and mitya vihara (false belief).
To understand the disease better, I will try to break it up under two headings:
- Menstrual abnormalities
- The disorders of vata are clearly manifested, with extreme pain (pricking type) during menstrual cycle.
- Stiffness in the body.
- Fatigue and lethargy.
- The person might also experience irregularity in duration of cycle and flow( excessive flow).
- The physical problem is bound to affect the mind as well. It manifests itself in the form of decline in the quality of work , poor concentration and disturbed learning ability. .
Expert Tip: Youngsters need to be cautious and report even a minute change in the menstrual cycle in the form of flow, duration, colour, and smell.
Endometriosis Escalting Into Infertility
According to Ayurveda, if yonivyapad is ignored, it is bound to manifest in the form of Vandhya . So in Ayurveda it is said that you must treat Vata dosha as your son-in-law ( damad).
One more thought to rectify vyadi is by knowing the duration of the problem. It is well explained that the older the disease, the more difficult it is to cure.
For a garbha ( foetus), the kshetra ( uterus) , Ambu (ahara),bheeja (male gamet and female gamet ) andrutu (fertile period ) should be in sama avasta ( all in proper sync). To understand this better, let us look at an example-.
When a farmer decides to cultivate his land, he checks the potency of the land by analysing the soil (in the case of the human body, we can correlate it to the uterus), then the potency of seeds to be sowed (i.e. male egg and female egg). After checking the above two, he chooses the perfect season to sow the seeds and never forgets to irrigate them (the perfect time or fertile period) that contribute to further growth.
As analysed above vatala yonivyapad causes irregularity in cycle which affects conception in women. The treatment starts from negating the aetiology , following proper diet and regimen and implementing vata hara karma.
Vata dosha is difficult to cure but it is not impossible.
Relieving Endometriosis Pain With Ayurveda - A Case Study
A young lady, about 25 years, visited my opd during a sunny day. As a regular patient she went on explaining her problems during menstrual cycle every month. Going through her report, I noticed that grade 4 endometriosis was mentioned in her older prescriptions. I was shocked to see the diagnosis in such a young unmarried lady. Her complains were evident of endometriosis, with extreme pain prior to 10 days of menstrual period. Pain was so severe that she had to be literally in the bed for 10 days with no appetite and fever . She was on morphine during her menstrual phase and yet was suffering. She was also advised hysterectomy because of the intensity of the pain she suffered.
So under such a circumstance and diagnosis, she visited me. She was aware and informed about endometriosis. My part was to make her understand the Ayurvedic view and how treatment works. I prescribed medicines for a month. As expected there was no reduction in pain. Then she was admitted for shodhana chikitsa for 7 days. Thereafter, Basti chikitsa was planned .She then followed diet and lifestyle modifications as advised. After all this, we asked her to wait until the next cycle. When she came next she was very happy because there was about 30 percent reduction in pain. This brought in a lot of positive changes in the patient’s lifestyle and reduced the medicine intake as well. Now, she experiences only 10-20 percent of the original pain during her regular menstrual cycle.
Expert Tip: When you eat healthy, follow a healthy life style, and, maintain a good mental state, your body will automatically be rid of diseases.
Avoid Infertility with Proper Care of Endometriosis
Endometriosis may not be curable, but we must be careful to listen to our body and visit a doctor when something seems to go wrong. If endometriosis is taken care of at an earlier stage, bigger problems leading to infertility can be avoided in future. Remember, excess pain can never be normal—consult a good doctor to get relief. If you have been unsuccessful with allopathy, try Ayurveda. It might do the magic. Stay safe and spread awareness so other women can stay safe too.
About The Expert
Dr Swathi Chaturvedi , holds a masters degree in obstetrics and gynaecology (Ayurveda) from Rajeev Gandhi University of Health Science , Bengaluru . For the past two years, she has been practicing at the Patanjali Centre, Haridwar and is working as an Assistant Professor. She understands the ailments and treats them based on her understanding of Ayurveda. She specializes in the fields of infertility, menstrual diseases, menopause, PMS, Endometriosis, PCOD, Ovarian cyst, and fibroid.Tags: ayurveda treatment for endometriosis ayurveda treatment for infertility endometriosis and infertility