The Self-Care You Need For Endometriosis Pain

Endometriosis can cause pain that interferes with a menstruator’s daily life, lowering their quality of life and even affecting their productivity. Here's a quick guide on how to relieve endometriosis pain through self-care and lifestyle modifications.

By URLife Team
09 Feb 2023

Endometriosis is a condition that affects women of all ages and backgrounds, but it's still often misunderstood. It occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of it, typically on other organs in the pelvic area. Endometriosis can cause severe pain and infertility, as well as a host of other symptoms.

This chronic condition affects nearly 190 million (almost 10 per cent) individuals within the reproductive age globally, with no known cure. While treatments are available to help manage the symptoms, such as hormone therapy or medications, they don’t always work for everyone.

People living with endometriosis experience excruciating pain. Some menstruators experience pain daily. It interferes with their day-to-day life and affects their quality of life. For some patients, living with endometriosis can feel like an uphill battle where medical professionals may have difficulty diagnosing and treating their condition effectively.


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Living with Endometriosis

According to the Endometriosis Society of India, approximately 25 million Indian women silently suffer from this medical condition. Most of them go undiagnosed until the first painful symptoms start showing up. The symptoms of endometriosis are mainly caught because of pelvic pain, which is often related to your menstrual cycle.

It may be possible to confuse the pain associated with this condition with the cramps you feel during a menstrual cycle, but if you notice any of the below signs, it may be time to visit a gynaecologist for a proper diagnosis:

  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Abnormally severe menstrual cramps
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • A long period cycle of more than seven days
  • Long-lasting pain in the pelvis and lower back
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent spotting between your periods
  • Heavy period bleeding that requires changing sanitary products every two hours
  • Feeling pain during intercourse
  • Bowel problems like diarrhoea, bloating, pain, and constipation

Endometriosis is often called the “invisible illness” because it can be difficult to diagnose due to its varied and unpredictable symptoms. Without a proper diagnosis, it is common for patients to struggle to acquire a prescription for endometriosis pain relief.


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Some women experience medical gaslighting, where their discomfort is not taken seriously by their doctors. Moreover, the diagnosis of endometriosis can be painstakingly long, with many women waiting years before being identified with the condition. To make matters worse, there is no definitive test for endometriosis, so doctors must rely on a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests such as ultrasounds or MRIs to reach a conclusion.


Endometriosis Pain Treatment

Treating endometriosis pain involves either the intervention of medicines or surgery, depending on the symptoms and severity of your endometriosis pain. Here are some ways to feel relief from endometriosis pain:

1. Medication

Some doctors may recommend OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If you are not trying to get pregnant, some even suggest starting hormone therapy and medicines to relieve endometriosis pain.


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2. Hormone Therapy

For some individuals, hormone therapy is an effective strategy for endometriosis pain treatment. Taking hormone therapy can help by slowing down the growth of endometrial tissue and even preventing new endometrial tissues from getting implanted.


3. Hysterectomy

Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) can be used as a last resort to tackle signs and symptoms associated with endometriosis, like heavy menstrual bleeding or oppressive uterine cramping, especially if you don't plan on getting pregnant.

Consider a second opinion before any treatment, so you have the entire spectrum of options and potential outcomes.


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Tips For Endometriosis Pain Management

Apart from proper diagnosis and medical treatment under a doctor's guidance, people with endometriosis can also relieve endometriosis pain with the help of self-care. Eating well and focusing on taking care can help you with endometriosis pain management and keep you fit and healthy in the long run. Here are some self-care tips for managing endometriosis pain:

1. Stay Active

While the extreme pain of endometriosis can be overbearing, try to do some physical activities regularly to reduce pain. According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, a relation between endometriosis and physical activity was explored. It revealed that regularly doing any physical exercise can reduce ovarian stimulation, menstrual flow, and oestrogen production. This can, in turn, relieve endometriosis pain.


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2. Maintain A Healthy Diet

According to a 2015 study in the Journal of Human Reproduction, women who had high fat intake in their diet had seen higher chances of being diagnosed with endometriosis. Another 2012 study in Europe PMC revealed that endometriosis pain subsided in 75 per cent of women who eliminated gluten from their diet.

Foods such as alcohol, gluten, trans and saturated fats, caffeine, and red meat promote inflammation in your body, which can further progress the pain. Hence, it's important to maintain a healthy diet rich in fibre, fatty acids, iron, and antioxidants.


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3. Try Acupuncture

According to a 2016 National Library of Medicine (USA) research paper, including acupuncture with other treatments can help with endometriosis pain management as this needle treatment is considered safe.


4. Track and Plan Ahead

Download a period tracking app and ensure you input your symptoms to manage endometriosis pain effectively. Once you know which stage of the menstrual cycle triggers what symptoms, you can predict the pain beforehand and successfully manage it. You can even plan your events around the cycle to make sure you get extra time to prepare your body for work.


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Consult A Doctor

While there's still no permanent cure for endometriosis, proper endometriosis pain management techniques and a treatment plan from your gynaecologist can provide relief and improve your quality of life while living with this condition.


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