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Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


Christmas is celebrated by Christians around the world. We hear the carols and watch our favorite Christmas stories. We scurry around decorating our homes, baking Christmas cookies and breads, shop until we drop, and try to write Christmas cards in between everything else. 

                                                 CHRISTMAS IS STRESSFUL!  
                                        CHRISTMAS SHOULD NOT BE STRESSFUL!

Does it bring such gifts of joy to everyone? Unfortunately the answer is no. It can bring more sorrow, bitterness, loneliness, or anger to some. Yet the message is one of new birth, love, and hope. It is not about gifts, Santa Claus, and dreaming about a white Christmas. 

   The messages of peace, love, joy, and giving are there for us to embrace and share with others.

When I think of Christmas my sense of hope is even stronger.  In my preteens I survived sexual and physical abuse and now I am a survivor of ovarian cancer for nine years. 

Hope was and is a key factor in surviving any event. With hope, there is no fear. They cannot co-exist. Hope means never saying "I can't." It means digging down into the deepest part of yourself and using your God given gifts to survive. Hope also means faith. For me, it is a strong faith in God.

For those who are facing a serious illness, loss of any kind, desperation, or loneliness, I encourage you to let the message of Christmas and the power of hope bring you the true blessings of Christmas.

I just finished reading Letting Go Into Perfect Love by Gwen Plano where the author shares how hope and faith helped her. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K7WYTW6/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

            My prayer is that the joy, hope, and love of Christmas will fill your heart and soul.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


There are a few updates that are very exciting that I would like to share with you this week. Some of them are for general health issues and some are specific to ovarian cancer.

An anti-inflammatory diet also contains increased amounts of antioxidants, which are reactive molecules in food that reduce the number of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in the body that may damage cells and increase the risk of certain diseases. An anti-inflammatory diet can help many conditions, including:
rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, colitis, diabetes, obesity, heart disease to name just a few.

While smoking is still by far the biggest cause of cancer and cancer deaths, obesity, poor diet and drinking too much alcohol cause an increasing number of cancer cases and deaths. But more people are surviving cancer. In 1975, 49 percent of people diagnosed with cancer were still alive five years later. By 2012 it was 69 percent. 

The leading preventable causes of cancer: 

  • Cigarette smoking- 19 percent of cancer cases and 28.8 percent of deaths
  • Obesity and overweight – 7.8 percent of cases and 6.5 percent of deaths
  • Alcohol intake – 5.6 percent of cases and 4 percent of deaths
  • Ultraviolet radiation – 4.7 percent of cases and 1.5 percent of deaths
  • Lack of exercise – 2.9 percent of cases and 2.2 percent of deaths
  • Low fruit and vegetable intake – 1.9 percent of cases and 2.7 percent of deaths
  • HPV infection – 1.8 percent of cases and 1.1 percent of deaths

Eat more of:

  • Nuts
  • Seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Polyunsaturated fats (such as soybean oil, corn oil, walnuts and flaxseed oil)

What to eat less of: 

  • Sodium
  • Processed meats
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Red meat (such as steak or pork chops)

Targeted therapy:
 is a newer type of cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack cancer cells while doing little damage to normal cells. Each type of targeted therapy works differently, but they all attack the cancer cells' inner workings − the programming that makes them different from normal, healthy cells. Bevacizumab (Avastin) is the targeted therapy that has been studied best in ovarian cancer.

The targeted therapy drug Zejula (niraparib) for women with some types of ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancers. This is the third of this type of drug, called a PARP inhibitor, approved to treat women with ovarian cancer. But unlike with the other two drugs, the use of Zejula is not limited to women with a BRCA mutation. It’s approved for women whose cancer has come back after they received chemotherapy.

Another approach is to develop tumor vaccines that program the immune system to better recognize cancer cells. Also, monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognize and attack ovarian cancer cells are being developed.

Christmas season is the time of giving, family, friends, and celebrating. Let's each give ourselves the gift of health by adopting the guidelines above. Only I can choose to lose weight, eat the right food, exercise, not smoke, and engage in only moderate alcoholic intake. 

                         Our bodies is God's gift to us when we are born; 
                           what we do with our bodies is our gift to God.

My thanks to the American Cancer Society, Medical News Today, and NBC News, and Tesaro Pharmaceutical  for the above information.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


With Thanksgiving Day just two days away, it is always a time when I contemplate my life and how I am living it. 

I think about all the things for which I am most thankful:
           My health
           The health and well-being of my family

I evaluate decisions and actions I have taken over the past year. Did I act out of love? Did I act out of jealousy or envy? Did I say things out of ignorance or incomplete information?

I make goals or resolutions for my future. No, I do not make New Year's resolutions which can often be a cliche and not taken seriously. By looking at my life from the perspective of giving thanks, my resolutions to be a better person take on a deeper meaning.

Today I am giving a talk on H.O.P.E. It is a perfect topic for this season of the year especially with the current world, national, and local events. Hope requires courage and confidence; it is a prayer; not just wishful thinking.

I recently gave a talk in Washington D.C. about a particular aspect of my journey with ovarian cancer. It centered around time...what do we do with our time? Do we spend each moment in silent fear, regrets, or in joy and love? I am grateful for each moment.

Time, hope, and thankfulness are all tied together. This Thanksgiving I am grateful for the past nine years I have had, for my ability to share my gifts of writing and public speaking, for the doctors and nurses who have provided such beautiful and expert medical care, for the Tesaro Pharmaceutical Company that has invited me to be a part of their outreach regarding ovarian cancer, and I am most deeply grateful for my husband, family, and friends who have supported and encouraged me.

My prayer is that you will also take this time of year to share your thankfulness, to contemplate how you are living your life, and to resolve to live a life of hope, serenity, and gratefulness.

Blessings, Karen

Friday, November 10, 2017



As a busy, flowing, active person like a river?

              Or a quiet, methodical, peaceful person like this sunset?

Whichever personality or life energy we might have, it is important that we be remembered for the words we spoke, the actions we took, and how caring or loving we were. 

Here are some questions for you to answer for yourself only. Perhaps your insight into yourself will be healing and helpful.

    1. Do you dwell on the positive or the negative?

    2. Do you reach out the helping hand to others, or do you pull back and not get involved?

    3. Do you start and end each day with a feeling of accomplishment, however small or large?

    4. Do you have many close friends with whom you can confide, enjoy time together, or share tears as well as laughter?

    5. Do you have activities or hobbies that you do on a regular basis?

    6. Do you easily get angry or frustrted with those around you?

    7. Do you have a strong belief or faith?

    8. If yes to the above question, how often do you turn to your faith for help and guidance? How often do you give thanks for your blessings?

I believe we each are beautiful and unique human beings with gifts that are to be shared with those around us. It really doesn't matter if you are more like the river or the sunset. What is important is what and how you live each moment.

My thanks to Pastor Shawn LaRue for his inspirational blog at https://booknvolume.com/2017/10/08/how-do-you-want-to-be-remembered/comment-page-1/#comment-46261

Monday, October 23, 2017


I am very pleased to share this post by author, Gwen Plano. She is the author of "Letting Go into Perfect Love," member of RRBC and RWISA. 
Forgiveness is one of the most powerful and healing actions we can take. Please feel free to leave a comment. I know Ms. Plano would love to hear your thoughts.


Recently I was asked about finding joy in life. As I thought about this, I realized that at the core of joy is forgiveness, and I will explain what I mean.

Tragedy is part of our lives; we cannot escape it. We may suffer from a debilitating illness or live in pain from a careless accident or face financial ruin through our fault or that of another. Perhaps we were betrayed by someone we trusted, someone we loved. Whatever the circumstance, we stand on common ground through our tears and broken hearts.

How do we traverse injustice, affronts, or violations? Fundamentally, I believe we do so through forgiveness. And, Bishop Desmond Tutu offers the best description I have found. He says: Forgiveness … exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the pain, the degradation, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse.  It is a risky undertaking, but in the end, it is worthwhile because in the end dealing with the real situation helps to bring real healing. In forgiving, people are not being asked to forget... Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. It means taking what happened seriously and not minimizing it; drawing out the sting in the memory that threatens to poison our entire existence.

It is the last line that is so vital to our wellbeing. Until we do the challenging work of forgiveness, we relive the event, the pain, the affront over and over again through one circumstance after another. We see through the clouds of life and miss the magic because we are not free.

Emotions lead us to our unforgiveness. They are our road-map. Anger or rage, resentment, criticism, guilt, paranoia, fear are signs we may not have forgiven the injustice, or violation, or tragedy. We may not have done the hard work that Bishop Tutu says we must do.

As much as we stand on common ground in our tears, forgiveness is a journey uniquely designed for each of us to travel alone because it is about us and not about the offender. Only we can pull out the sting; no one can do that for usWhen we have forgiven, we no longer react as we have in the past. We are at peace and therein rests our joy. 


Gwen's links are:
My twitter address is: @gmplano

Thursday, October 12, 2017


                                HOW OFTEN DO YOU WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE,
                                     OR FRET OVER WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST?


I believe we are to build from our memories of the past, learn from the experiences, treasure the positive events, and honor those who loved and taught us. Here are some steps or strategies you can take on that I believe will help you to live in the moment, or be here now. 

       Turn towards life, not away from it. That is, we need to face reality, which can be very difficult
at times. It is not always easy to face the reality of our challenging marriage, our health status, our financial situation, or relationships with others.
       Once we accept the reality of an event, condition, or person then we can more effectively deal with it. Life becomes more manageable. We are stronger. We are at greater peace.

       Embrace your life as it is, not how you want it to be. In other words, want you have and not want what you do not have. It is accepting the good and the bad, the wonderful and the tragic, and life with death. When we embrace what we are, we embrace the joy of life.

       Time is a precious gift and each minute is an opportunity. If we rush around, scurrying around to do this or that, we actually have less success because we make more mistakes, we might cut corners and pay the price later, and we may not learn from our "rushing around." Slow, methodical, and disciplined actions are more likely to bring you success and satisfaction. Be like the tortoise, not the hare.

       Counting our blessings is healthier than counting our troubles. When we have gratitude, are grateful then there is an enormous change in our health physically, mentally, and spiritually. With gratitude we can face whatever troubles come our way.
      Be in touch with your feelings, however painful they might be. Without feeling our relationships suffer and we are not at peace; our energy is drained. When we allow ourselves to be in touch with our feelings, there is more energy and vitality to our lives. Our life is now worth living.

       Accept success as well as failure as opportunities to grow. We learn from each experience and even failure can be a teacher. No one goes through life without some times of not succeeding. We might look at "the rich and famous" and not realize how hard they had to work, how many times they might have stumbled, or just plain failed. Yet, they did not give up. They followed their dream.

       Do not forget to pay attention to your loving relationships. They need to be tended to and nurtured. There may be times when we will hurt one another, but we must take responsibility for our mistakes and try to make amends.

                                        LIVE IN THE MOMENT...BE HERE NOW

Saturday, September 30, 2017



There is no cure for many cancers, but there are some that now curable: breast, prostate, skin, cervical, and Hodgkin Lymphoma are just some of the ten most curable cancer.  Early detection is the most important factor.

How does our life change once we have been told we are cured? How much do we trust or fear that the cancer will return? 

As survival rates improve, cancer rehabilitation continues to play a critical role in optimizing health and quality of life for survivors. Cure is the main goal, but quality of life in survivors is a paramount issue. The development and promotion of a combination of exercise, psychosocial and survivorship programs are very important....

People with cancer look to rehabilitation services for strategies to cope with impairments resulting from cancer and its treatments, including changes in physical and cognitive abilities, independence and activities of daily living, as well as physical activity participation levels.
Cognitive symptoms can have a major impact on individuals’ personal and professional lives. Several studies have demonstrated only a weak association between self-reported cognitive symptoms and objective cognitive impairment on formal neuropsychological testing, but premorbid intellectual quotient and fatigue seem to be important predictors of baseline cancer-related cognitive impairments.
We have been mastering our medical approach, but we must not forget the physical, psychological, social approaches and, of course, strong health care communication skills.
(FROM QUALITY OF LIFE http://qualityoflife.elsevierresource.com/articles/importance-physical-psychological-and-social-approaches-and-strong-health-care)

Q: What medical concerns do patients have right after treatment ends?

A: Typically, there is a surge in anxiety and worry over the possibility that the cancer will return once active treatment is completed. Often, people feel they are not doing enough to actively fight the cancer. Another common problem is that some physical and psychological changes don't disappear with the last treatment and seem to last for months or years after treatment ends. A few examples of such symptoms are fatigue, lack of stamina, difficulty focusing, changes in skin texture, or neuropathic (nerve) changes in fingers and toes.
People often want to know what signs to look for to detect a cancer recurrence (return) as early as possible and to recognize the long-term side effects of treatment. For example, a person who received a medication that may affect his or her bone density needs to know how his or her bones will be monitored and what treatments are available.

Q: What are some of the emotional concerns patients have once treatment ends?

A: These include worries about cancer recurrence, one's identity and future, and dying young or leaving things undone. Some patients may also suffer from poor body image or low self-esteem because of the treatments they received. They often need help to learn to accept their new body.

Q: How can patients cope with these concerns?

A: We know that worrying alone feels awful and makes the sense of distress experienced by many patients and survivors worse. Being able to understand one's fears and to talk about them is a good starting point for effective coping. Ultimately, a patient's inner strength and resilience allows him or her to endure this experience, sort through available options, and define a path or journey through the difficulties that lie ahead. Effective coping requires the ability to understand the situation, think through alternatives, ask for and experience the support of others, and feel comfortable with the chosen course of action or treatment.

Q: How does a cancer diagnosis affect a person’s family, friends, and caregivers?

A: Cancer affects not just the individual undergoing treatment, but the entire family unit. Spouses, children, parents, and friends often suffer along with the patient and may need information about the transition to survivorship and assistance coping with their emotions. 

Q: What should patients and doctors discuss during the last few appointments?

A: The last few appointments should allow patients time to discuss any concerns they have about the future, clarify the treatment given, and revisit the prognosis, which is the chance of recovery. They should also provide them with the necessary tools to advocate for good care going forward and coordinate this care with the primary care doctor. Every patient needs to understand his or her diagnosis, the treatments received, possible late complications or side effects of such treatments, the follow-up care schedule proposed, and who will be involved in his or her ongoing care.

Q: How else can survivors prepare for life after treatment?

A: Survivors should ask their oncologist for an "end of treatment summary" that outlines the original diagnosis, including the cancer type, stage, and the treatments received. It should also clearly state the proposed schedule for follow-up visits and recommended testing to monitor the person's recovery.
Another, very helpful resource is a support group. It allows survivors to share experiences and give and receive advice and support from individuals who are outside their circle of family or friends.
Meanwhile, some may find it useful to look for more information regarding their specific cancer type or information on coping with cancer using web-based materials, while others may turn to literature, hobbies, or spiritual advisors to help them move forward. The important message is that life may be forever changed by the experience of having cancer, and those changes deserve careful attention and respect. (FROM CANCER.NET)

Monday, September 25, 2017


Smorgasbord Health 2017- Top to Toe -The Female Reproductive System updated – Some health issues to be aware of.

This is a blog from Smorgasbord, Variety is the Spice of Life. My thanks to Sally Cronin for her in-depth information. It is important for women to know and understand their bodies. There is a rise in cervical cancer. September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Ovarian and breast cancer.
Research has made great inroads into finding viable treatments and a cure for both these cancers. They deserve to have their own posts.. on Thursday a guest post by ovarian Cancer survivor Karen Ingalls and next Monday a guest post by Judith Barrow who is a breast cancer survivor.
The message from both of these authors is that you need to get checked regularly and to be aware of symptoms is one that I am happy to keep repeating for new readers of the blog and also for those of you who have been with me for four years.
The fertile years 10 – 50 years old.
In this third part of the series on the female reproductive system a look at some of the health issues that might occur in the 40 years that it is active.  Every woman is unique and I can only give you averages when talking about events during a monthly cycle.
From the age of ten a girl is maturing towards becoming fertile. Puberty marks the start of an average of 40 years of one of the most miraculous, but also often inconvenient monthly cycles. Beneath our skin a complex series of actions are taking place to ensure the smooth running of this female process. Although the actual period only lasts an average of 7 to 10 days but can be shorter or longer, the process is ongoing for the full 28 to 32 days. The cycle can be different depending on a number of factors and will change as a woman matures.
The menstrual cycle
There are a number of hormones, other than estrogen and progesterone, involved in the menstrual cycle and the process is normally very precise and runs like clockwork to afford the very best chance of fertilization of the egg.
There are three distinct stages that are orchestrated by the hormones, in sequence, and the whole cycle will take between 28 and 32 days to complete.
The health of the reproductive system.
Forty years is a very long time in body terms and it is hardly surprising that a system as complex as the reproductive function is not going to suffer from problems. These are either due to disruptions to the hormones in charge, or the organs themselves.
I know that you expect long posts from me but even I draw the line in covering all the health issues we might face over the years. Here are the headlines!
Conditions associated with the reproductive system
Many young girls and women suffer from PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome) and in some cases this continues right up to menopause. This can be helped by changes in diet and exercise levels as well as some supplementation of specific nutrients and herbs.
Infertility is a problem that may not be discovered until a woman is in her late 20’s and 30’s and is actively trying to get pregnant but there are certain lifestyle and dietary issues as well as possible physical or hormonal reasons for difficulties in becoming pregnant. I will cover the basics under that heading.
Premenstrual Syndrome
PMS symptoms tend to occur at specific phases of the menstrual cycle, which are modulated by the changing levels in the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. It is logical then to assume that any adverse symptoms are caused by some disruption to the balance between these two hormones.
PMS always occurs during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle when the luteinising hormone (LH) increases the production of progesterone and oestrogen in the ovaries. This phase in the cycle is specifically to encourage secretions in the fallopian tubes and womb to ensure the proper nourishment and implantation of a fertilised egg.
There are a number of theories that have been put forward to try and explain the various reasons why individual women suffer differing symptoms at this time from water retention to depression. Some studies suggest that it is a lack of progesterone that causes the problems with some women responding favourably to progesterone therapy and other studies finding that it makes matters worse. The common factor appears to be an imbalance of one or other of the two female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. I think the key lies in a number of factors one of which is that we are all individual and this includes our hormonal makeup.
I have worked with many teenagers and older women who were suffering from PMS and I found the best way to start was with diet and exercise with particular attention to any other influences such as Candida Albicans or stress. Many women respond very favourably to being treated for Candida Albicans, as some of the symptoms for this are lower back pain, depression and water retention. Candida takes over the intestines and healthy and friendly bacteria are in short supply. Bacteria in our gut is responsible for the manufacture of certain nutrients such as Vitamin K that plays a role in regulating our menstrual flow so it is logical that Candida could also contribute to PMS problems. You can find more information on Candida here.
Some doctors prefer to put women on the contraceptive pill to help regulate periods and minimise PMS but I am still not happy about taking additional hormones without first trying the natural approach for at least two cycles. Talk to your doctor about making lifestyle changes first including reducing the amount of sugar in your diet. The recommended amount of sugar is 7 teaspoons per day.. It is easy with breakfast cereals, flavoured yoghurt etc to consume 14 teaspoons for breakfast.  Blood sugar levels are erratic and hormones are affected.
Infertility can be devastating to a young couple who have dreamt of having a large family and assumed that it was going to be as simple as stopping taking the pill or any other form of contraceptive. Unfortunately, for some women, there are physical reasons why they are unable to either produce an egg in the first place or carry the fertilized embryo to full term.
Usually there are a number of factors involved that cause or add to the reasons behind a woman’s infertility.  Since these are also the more common health issues with the reproductive system in general it is worth focusing on them in this post.
  1. Hormone levels are not sufficient to stimulate the release of an egg from the ovary or for it to successfully implant into the lining of the womb.
  2. A woman is more than 30% over her ideal weight or severely underweight and this effects ovulation. There is a link between eating disorders such as anorexia where body weight is reduced for extended periods of time. The body switches off non-life sustaining body functions. If you cannot nourish yourself then you would not be able to nourish a foetus.
  3. Fibroids of the womb.
  4. Endometriosis where the normal tissue that lines the womb is found outside in other areas of the pelvis.
  5. Production of antibodies that attack a partner’s sperm and kills them before they can fertilise her eggs.
  6. Infections throughout the pelvis caused by Chlamydia or by appendicitis leading to damage and scarring of the reproductive organs.
  7. Age.
Hormone Imbalance
Abnormal ovulation results in irregular or absent periods. This is usually caused by a lack of co-ordination between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, as these regulate the release of the hormones into the bloodstream.
If insufficient LH (luteinising hormone) or FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) is secreted then the levels of oestrogen and progesterone will not be high enough to begin the process of ovulation. This may require hormonal treatment but the first step is to ensure that diet and lifestyle factors are not playing a role in the imbalance.
Weight Issues
Extreme weight fluctuation can also cause periods to cease as this is linked to hormonal imbalances associated with diet. Being overweight puts incredible stress on all the operating systems in the body including the reproductive system. Most women who have been overweight since childhood are likely to suffer from irregular or no menstrual cycle at all. Even being slightly overweight can affect hormone levels and it is recommended that a women get down as close to her ideal weight as possible before trying to conceive. There is additional wisdom in this as a woman who is already over three stone overweight is going to add another three at least during her pregnancy which can add significantly to risks of complications such as Gestational diabetes, very high blood pressure and the need for a Caesarean delivery.
In nature, in times of drought or famine, certain animals will not only cease to ovulate but they will also stop the gestation of their young until such time as conditions improve. One of the long-term issues with eating disorders such as Anorexia is infertility, as there is insufficient nutrients being made available to manufacture the necessary hormones. Before trying to conceive anyone who is dramatically underweight should take a close look at their diet and seek professional help in building up nutrition, calories and body mass.
One of the staggering statistics is that one in four women will enter the menopause because of medical treatment, the leading one being a hysterectomy (removal of the womb and ovaries). The biggest single reason is fibroids, which are benign tumours inside and outside the womb. There are three general locations for fibroids.
  1. Subserosal –on the outside surface of the uterus
  2. Intramural – within the muscular wall of the uterus
  3. Submucous – bulging in to the uterine cavity.
The submucous location is rarer than the other two but is the one associated with failure to conceive and early miscarriage. If the other two types of fibroid grow too large however they too can have an effect on the reproductive system.
No one is entirely sure what causes fibroids to form. There are a number of factors and hormone imbalance is probably involved. However, our diet may also be partly to blame as many foods that we consume contain substances that mimic the way estrogen affects the body – and these include growth hormones in milk, beef and chicken, pesticides on our food and even the plastics we use in our kitchens for storage. This leads to estrogen dominance in a woman, which can then lead to a number of reproductive problems including the growth of these benign tumors.
There is also a genetic link and if your female relatives have tended to get fibroids then you are at risk of developing them too. The light at the end of the tunnel is that they nearly always shrink when you reach menopause but if they cause heavy and painful bleeding and are making your life a misery you should deal with them as soon as possible.
Endometriosis develops when tissue resembling the endometrium inside the womb begins growing out in the pelvic cavity. The most common symptoms of this are painful sexual intercourse, period pains and infertility.
The endometrium is made up of blood, endometrial skin cells, glands and pieces of blood vessels and connective tissues. Although the endometrium is usually discarded and broken into pieces to be excreted in menstrual blood through the vagina, it can sometimes find its way through the upper openings of the womb that lead to the fallopian tubes. The ends of the fallopian tubes are open to the pelvic cavity and the pieces of endometrium can then attach themselves to any surface within the cavity and reform using all the components to grow and develop.
If the fallopian tubes are blocked and the ovaries are now coated with growing endometriosis there is little chance of an egg being produced and fertilised by a sperm – leading to infertility.
The usual treatment is to remove the lesions surgically or prescribe drugs that suppress the endometrium in the womb to keep it thin. This, in effect, creates a false menopause as it also suppresses the ovaries and the production of oestrogen. If you are hoping to have children it might have a long term effect on your ability to conceive.
Killer Mucous
When the body is not ovulating, cervical mucous has a role in killing any harmful bacteria trying to get into the body via the vagina. However, during ovulation a chemical change occurs which is designed to ensure the survival of the sperm on its way into the system. Some women react to their partner’s sperm, by developing antibodies instead, and killing the sperm as it fights its way towards the cervix.
One of the more common causes of infertility today is an infection that has damaged part of the reproduction system. For example, Chlamydia is a bacterial infection transmitted sexually and is the most common of the STDs contracted by adolescents and young adults today. The biggest problem is that you may not discover that you have been infected until you are trying to have a baby because 75% of women and 50% of men have no overt symptoms and it is therefore known as a silent disease.
Left untreated, Chlamydia can spread and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which rises through the vagina and the cervix before infecting the womb, fallopian tubes and the ovaries. The resulting scarring to the fallopian tubes can cause infertility and increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies (inside the fallopian tube).
In the rare cases where symptoms are present they can mimic other pre-menstrual symptoms and be ignored such as lower back pain, bleeding between periods, nausea and fever. However, if these are also accompanied by frequent urinary tract infections, chronic pelvic pain and vomiting it is necessary to consider that it is Chlamydia and seek medical attention.
Fertility levels decrease with age in women. Although there have been some reports of women becoming pregnant during the change of life it is rare. Women are at their most fertile up to 24 years old but today many women are putting off having children, preferring to wait for career or economic reasons. It is estimated that one third of women over 35 will experience some problems getting pregnant and at least half will have severe difficulties.
Declining hormone production, lack of viable eggs and an accumulation of the other factors I have covered in this article will combine to cause fertility problems. If a woman has also smoked, drunk too much alcohol and not eaten a healthy diet she will add to the difficulties.
Dietary influences.
Our body has very specific needs and this includes essential nutrients that can be processed and distributed around the body to where they are needed. As always a varied diet with lots of fresh vegetables, lean protein, fruits and whole grains is a great place to start… And need I say.. Cooked from Scratch without any industrialized sugary additives.
For those of you who would like to know more about the nutrients we need here is a directory where you will find the nutrient, what it is needed for and the foods that supply it.
Thanks so much for dropping by and if you have a private question that you would rather not put in the comments section you can contact me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com