Guest blog by Larry Wurn, LMT, CEO of Clear Passage Therapies.
What are adhesions and how do they form?
The American medical system often fails to adequately educate patients about all of the intricacies of their condition and outcomes. One of the greatest gaps in patient knowledge is about the presence of adhesions.
Adhesions, more commonly known as scar tissue, are strands of collagen that form during the healing process following any kind of trauma to the body. This can include surgery, infection or trauma such as a car accident or a bad fall. Almost everyone has adhesions but unfortunately some people experience a negative reaction to them, which in this case is infertility.
Two of the most common causes of the adhesions that can result in infertility are abdominal surgeries and infection/inflammation. The tissue damage caused by an invasive surgery such as an appendectomy results in a significant healing process and the formation of adhesions. For chronic inflammation/infection, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), the persistent tissue damage will cause adhesions to form during the long healing process until the infection/inflammation is treated. The most common cause of PID is bacteria from untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea.
How do adhesions impact fertility?
Adhesions cause infertility by negatively impacting the mechanical function of the reproductive tract. A successful pregnancy requires a fertilized egg. The mechanical process of sperm reaching the egg can be prevented by the presence of adhesions, since adhesions can wrap around the delicate structures of the reproductive tract.
Not only can adhesions prevent fertilization of the egg but a condition known as blocked fallopian tubes can also be caused by adhesions. Once adhesions wrap around or fill the fallopian tubes, eggs have trouble making it to the uterus and can result in more serious conditions such as an ectopic pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of adhesions?
By now you may be wondering if you have adhesions. The short answer is, probably. If you have a history of surgery, infection/inflammation or trauma then there is a good chance you also have adhesions. Fortunately there is a list of symptoms to look out for that can help you determine if your infertility may be caused by adhesions.
- Chronic pain
- Infertility (often diagnosed as unexplained infertility)
- Bowel obstruction
- Pain during bowel movements
- Dysmenorrhea (pain during sexual intercourse)
- Other intestinal problems such as constipation or constipation accompanied with diarrhea which can be caused by a partial obstruction
If you have several of these symptoms that is a good indication you are suffering from adhesions and your next step would be to get diagnosed by a medical professional.
What are the treatments for adhesions?
Unfortunately, there are few options for treatment. The most commonly known option is a surgery known as lysis of adhesions. This is when a surgeon goes in and cuts the adhesions apart. This often has the unintended consequence of creating more adhesions due to the healing process after surgery we explained earlier.
The other option is a natural treatment that focuses on detaching adhesions without the use of surgery or drugs. Doing it naturally prevents the possibility of causing more adhesions or a surgical error which is ever present when undergoing major surgery.
Why aren’t adhesions discussed with patients?
The grim reality is that adhesions are usually not discussed with patients because there is little evidence that they can be prevented and treatment of the adhesions will only be discussed once they present a problem to the patient. The other reason is the study of adhesions is relatively new and many medical professionals may not be up to date on the current treatments and risks that adhesions present.
Doctors also have a hard time diagnosing adhesions because scar tissue doesn’t show up on x-rays. The only way to definitively diagnose adhesions is through an exploratory surgery in order to get visual confirmation.
What are the next steps?
If you or a person you love believe you are suffering from adhesions, you can visit us at www.clearpassage.com where you can get information about all the different conditions caused by adhesions and the available treatments.
Larry Wurn, LMT, is the CEO of Clear Passage Therapies. After becoming reunited with his childhood love Belinda, she was diagnosed with cancer of the cervix. She survived after months of radiation therapy, but the treatments left her lower abdomen, pelvis, and lower back adhered and scarred. All of her pelvic organs had become adhered to surrounding tissues and structures, limiting her mobility and causing significant pain. They searched for relief by studying with physicians and physical therapists around the US and abroad who did different types of hands-on techniques. After taking many courses in manual physical therapy, they found their first glimmer of hope – the manual techniques improved the pain. Together, Larry and Belinda Wurn developed a protocol of over 200 manual therapy techniques called the Wurn Technique® and opened their own clinics, first Professional Touch Physical Therapy, and then Clear Passage Physical Therapies. The Clear Passage® Approach is a nonsurgical, natural treatment for patients with chronic pain, female infertility, bowel obstruction, and sexual dysfunction.