Can Medical Cannabis take the bite out of Endometriosis?cdaclinics
It is estimated that more than 700,000 Australian women, girls and other individuals are living with endometriosis and its extremely painful symptoms. The question people are asking is, can medical cannabis help?
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a very painful condition where the tissue that lines the uterus can mistakenly grow outside of the uterus, resulting in the development of endometrial tissue on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and other abdominal locations.
For the 5-10% of women who suffer from endometriosis, life is significantly challenging. Most are afraid of the effect endometriosis will have on their fertility, or bladder, bowels, overall health and even relationships. This constant state of worry can exacerbate their anxiety, depression and pain, impacting their quality of life.
The pain of Endometriosis has been described, as a biting, sharp prolonged pain, much like being on your period, but during your actual Period (or shark week, as it’s commonly known) feels 50 times worse. The pain is debilitating and leads to many women needing to take time off work and missing important life events.
Women with endometriosis typically suffer from these symptoms:
- painful periods
- pain during intercourse
- pelvic pain
- heavy bleeding
- ovulation pain
- pain that radiates to their lower back or thighs
- bowel symptoms – e.g. diarrhoea, pain when passing stools
- bladder symptoms – e.g. pain when urinating
- reduced fertility
- nausea, lethargy, and difficulty sleeping
- premenstrual symptoms.
Most women suffer the pain and other symptoms for years before being diagnosed with Endo
Endometriosis is often treated with medicines as a first-line treatment. Some women also benefit from alternative therapies. The main symptom – pain, is often treated with pain-relieving drugs (paracetamol, ibuprofen etc), and hormonal treatments that suppress ovulation and menstruation. Surgery can be used to remove or burn the endometrioses and sadly in some cases require complete removal of the uterus and/or ovaries.
However, more often than not, medications and hormonal treatments can be ineffective and come with side-effects, that may not ‘fix’ the issue. Although effective for the majority of women, surgery and the corresponding anaesthetic comes with its own risks, and not all endometriosis cases can be effectively treated this way.
How Cannabis helps?
For most, it can provide effective symptom control and for some, it can even be life-changing.
A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics Gynaecology Canada found that one in eight Australian women with endometriosis, who use cannabis to alleviate pain and other symptoms, rate the plant-based medicine as the most effective way to manage the disorder. The women in the study reported that along with the reduction of pain, they felt Medical Cannabis Treatment significantly reduced other symptoms such as; nausea, gastrointestinal symptoms, insomnia and feelings of depression and anxiety while reporting very low side effects (One in ten reported undesirable effects such as drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, or increased anxiety).
If you have endometriosis and would like to know more about Medical Cannabis, and if you are eligible for treatment – Register Here With Us Today.
The paper, Cannabis use, a self-management strategy among Australian women with endometriosis: results from a national online survey, is available online at Journal of Obstetrics Gynaecology Canada.