Have you ever found yourself waking up in the middle of the night, for what feels like the millionth time, thanks to agonizing cramps, throbbing back pain, or to blood on your sheets?
Yep. Me too.
If you find yourself suffering from any of these life-altering endometriosis symptoms, then you probably also find yourself desperately asking,
“How can I treat my endometriosis pain?”
I’ve been there.
The best endo treatment will vary from woman to woman based on their personal symptoms and every woman might need something a little different.
It took me years to find a way to successfully manage my endometriosis pain.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to take you years to figure out how to treat your pain!
In this guide, I’m going to share the best ways to treat endometriosis pain to help you manage your symptoms, too.
Different Reasons For Endometriosis Treatment
If you are among one of the 176 million women worldwide affected by endometriosis, then you are probably also wishing you could find an effective way to treat your pain.
Because, quite honestly, endo pain sucks. It can infiltrate every single aspect of your life.
- Painful periods.
- Painful sex.
- Painful bowel movements.
- Chronic pelvic pain.
- Lower back pain.
At the end of the day, all you want is relief. A break from the pain. A day without needing a change of clothes.
The ability to make plans without worrying if your pain will cause you to back out at the last minute.
You just want to find something that works.
How to Treat Endometriosis PainUnfortunately, treatment for endometriosis pain is not a one size fits all kind of thing.
Treatment options vary greatly and can range from conventional methods, including medications and surgery, to more natural forms of treatment.
The bottom line is that there is no one answer for how to treat your pain.
Treatment for each woman will vary based on her own individual body and symptoms.
How To Treat Endometriosis Pain NaturallyMany women, like me, have found treating endo pain naturally to be the most helpful. You might be surprised at how effective natural treatments can be!
Natural Treatments include things such as:
- Change of diet
- Including herbs into your regimen
- Incorporating more exercise
- Reducing stress
The Institute for Natural Medicine says that, “Naturopathic treatments including nutrition and dietary changes, botanical medicine, and supplementation have been shown to provide relief for endometriosis symptoms.”
How to Treat Bowel Endometriosis
Did you know that bowel symptoms are often a result of endometriosis?
It is not uncommon for endometrial nodules to implant within the bowels or surrounding areas. The irritation caused by these implants can lead to bouts of diarrhea or constipation, mostly commonly experienced during a woman’s period.
Just like with the more commonly experienced endo symptoms, treatment for bowel endometriosis varies greatly from woman to woman, but ultimately comes down to reducing inflammation.
How to Treat Endometriosis FertilityInfertility is among one of the most emotionally distressing symptoms resulting from endo.
As many as 40% of the women that suffer from endometriosis will experience some form of infertility within her lifetime.
False pregnancy symptoms followed by heartbreaking negative pregnancy tests. Month after month after month. It is devastating. Life altering. Complete and unimaginable pain, both mentally and physically.
There has got to be a way to treat it.
Different Types of Endometriosis Treatment:Although there is currently no cure for endometriosis, there are many successful methods for managing your symptoms and improving your overall quality of life.
The key to treating your own endo pain is finding the method that works best for you.
You might need to do some experimenting to find out what that best treatment is for you.
The most commonly used forms of treatment fall into one of two categories:
- Conventional Treatment
- Natural Treatment.
Conventional Treatment:As with all types of conventional treatment, consultation with your doctor is of the utmost importance. When determining the best treatment path to pursue, it’s important that you and your doctor consider many different factors, such as:
- Your level of pain
- The impact your pain and symptoms have on your daily life
- Your age
- Your family history
- Your desire to have children, either now or in the future
- Potential side effects from potential treatments
- Other personal medical factors
Conventional Treatment 1: Pain Medication
The use of OTC pain relievers is probably nothing new for you. It’s one of the most commonly used methods of pain management. Pain medication, particularly NSAIDs, which can help to temporarily block pain and reduce inflammation can be effective in treating mild endo pain.
When used correctly.
According to Endometriosis.org, in order for NSAIDs to effectively reduce endo pain,
“...it is recommended that you start taking them as directed at least 24 hours before you expect to ovulate or 24 hours before you expect to start bleeding.”
If you experience irregular periods like most women with endo do, this can be a very hard thing to time. If not timed correctly, these pain medications may do very little to reduce your pain.
Conventional Treatment 2: Hormone TherapyThe American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology cites hormone therapy an “effective alternative to surgical therapy” for women suffering from Endometriosis pain. Hormone therapy, ideally, will reduce the number, size, and spreading of endometrial growths.
Hormone therapy is said to help reduce endo pain for as many as 90% of women who use it and can be a good choice for those who are not planning on getting pregnant soon.
Birth control is the most commonly used form of hormone therapy but your doctor may move you to a stronger type of hormone if needed. Be aware though, that as the strength increases, so do the side effects.
Possible side effects from hormone therapy could include:
- Heavier and more painful periods
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Skin or vaginal irritation (when using a patch or vaginal ring)
- Nausea, headaches, or mood swings
- Increased chance for blood clots
- Lowered libido
Conventional Treatment 3: Surgery
When pain medications and hormone therapy have proven ineffective, doctors may suggest surgery. Most often, endometriosis surgery is done via a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, which will provide for a shorter and less painful recovery time.
There are 2 main types of laparoscopic surgery performed from those with endometriosis: diagnostic and operative laparoscopy.
During diagnostic laparoscopy, the surgeon is simply performing an exploratory procedure in order to formally diagnose endometriosis.
During operative laparoscopy, the surgeon will remove any endometrial growths found during the procedure.
It is not uncommon to have both a diagnostic and operative laparoscopy performed at the same time, if deemed necessary by your doctor.
Conventional Treatment 4: Hysterectomy
A hysterectomy, which is a surgical procedure in which the uterus is removed, is probably the most extreme and invasive for of endometriosis treatment available.
Recovery from a hysterectomy can be tough and there could be some pretty substantial long term effects as well, so if you’re considering this form of treatment, it's very important to thoroughly discuss all of the ramifications with your doctor in advance.
Unlike most forms of conventional treatment, natural treatment methods usually present far less, if any, negative side effects. It’s really all about reducing the inflammation within your body.
And here’s the best part.
Once you reduce the inflammation within your body, you’re likely to experience less endo pain and other nasty side effects as well.
Natural Treatment 1: DietFood fuels your body. It can also harm your body if you aren’t careful.
One of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation within the body is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
The perfect diet will vary from woman to woman, but the most important points to consider is that the foods eaten are:
Although many women see their symptoms improve when following the Endometriosis Diet, diet alone won’t solve all of your issues. There are other aspects that should be considered as well.
Natural Treatment 2: HerbsDid you know that there are many natural herbs that can actually help improve your endo symptoms? These herbs can do things like reducing, inflammation, reducing pain, reducing estrogen production, and even helping to regulate your period.
From my experience, the best natural herbs for treating endometriosis pain are:
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Milk Thistle
- White Willow
These herbs are powerful and important components to your endometriosis treatment plan.
But they’re only one of the many components needed. There are still a few other things to consider.
Natural Treatment 3: Lifestyle
In addition to adjusting your diet and incorporating herbs, there's a few other lifestyle changes that can make a big impact on your endometriosis pain.
Manage stress. Finding healthy ways to manage stress can be beneficial, both physically and mentaly. Practicing meditation or mindfulness are both great ways to de-stress!
Get moving. Exercise in general is just good for your body, but be careful. Certain exercises could actually increase your edno pain. Good ways to get yourself moving include things like light stretching, yoga, and walking.
Stay properly hydrated. Water helps to flush toxins from the body as well as helps protect sensitive tissue. Sipping warm water can help relieve bloating. Adding lemon slices to your water can also help reduce inflammation.
Use a personal moisturizer. When applied directly to the vaginal skin, an all-natural, chemical-free personal moisturizer can help nourish your skin and reduce local inflammation.