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Endometriosis and Medicinal Cannabis

Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the walls of the uterus grow outside of the uterus, commonly affecting the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the lining of the pelvis.

Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 people with uteruses, and often causes the sufferer a great amount of pain, usually during menstruation and and may lead to fertility issues later on in life. 

What are the symptoms of Endometriosis?

Endometriosis can physically manifest in a range of ways, including:

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain during bowel movements or urination
  • Excessive bleeding during menstruation
  • Infertility issues
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Nausea, especially during menstrual periods

Although research is limited on what causes endometriosis, some risk factors have been identified. They include:

  • Never giving birth or pregnancy
  • Commencing menstruation at a young age
  • Going through menopause later than normal
  • Menstrual cycles that last less than 27 days
  • Heavy menstrual periods that last longer than seven days
  • Having higher levels of oestrogen in your body or a greater lifetime exposure to oestrogen your body produces
  • Family history of endometriosis
  • Medical conditions that prevent the normal menstruation
  • Reproductive tract abnormalities

How can medicinal cannabis help with Endometriosis?

Preliminary research conducted in New South Wales suggests that cannabis may be effective in managing the adverse symptoms of endometriosis - namely pain, insomnia, nausea, anxiety and depression. Australians who use cannabis to manage their endometriosis self-reported experiencing less intense pain and improved sleep quality.

Some of the cannabis products that have shown to be beneficial treatments to Endometriosis sufferers include:

  • Nabiximols
  • Dronbinol
  • THC:CBD extracts
  • CBD extracts
  • Cannabis Sativa
  • Cannabis Indica

They can be consumed as an oil, vape liquid, sprays and wafers.

If you or a loved one are suffering from Endometriosis and are considering medicinal cannabis as a potential treatment, please speak to your GP or to one of our SAS accredited doctors here.