Endometriosis can result in painful cramps and severe menstrual bleeding. However, natural remedies for endometriosis can relieve the muscles, control inflammation, and improve overall health.
Table of Contents
In this article, you will learn:
What is Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a condition that affects the reproductive organs of women, where the cells that have a close resemblance with the uterus lining (known as endometrial cells) develop outside the uterus. The endometrium-like tissue usually grows around the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, and the pelvis. In severe cases, the condition can spread behind the reproductive system.
Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue grows on the bowel, ovaries, and tissue lining the pelvis. It is highly unusual for endometrial tissue to spread outside the pelvis region, but not impossible. When endometrial tissue grows beyond the walls of the uterus, it is called an endometrial implant.
The changes in the menstrual cycle hormones affect the endometrial tissue that is misplaced, resulting in a painful feeling and inflammation of the area. This means the tissue will first grow, then it will thicken and finally break down. Over time, the broken tissue has no escape route and so becomes trapped in the pelvis.
When tissue is trapped in your pelvis, it can result in the following:
- fertility challenges
- severe menstrual pain
- scar formation
- adhesions – a condition where the tissue binds the pelvic organs together
You’re not alone if you have endometriosis because it is a condition that affects up to 10% of women.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Pelvic pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis, especially when a woman has her menstrual flow. However, rather than the cramping a lot of women experience when doing their periods, women who have endometriosis often go through severe pain that can be hard to manage.
The symptoms of endometriosis vary according to women. Some women suffer only mild symptoms, while others have moderate to severe symptoms. The level of pain a person experiences does not determine the stage or degree of the condition. It is possible to have a painful condition but experience very little pain or discomfort.
Other known symptoms of endometriosis include the following:
- pain while having sex
- pain during bowel movement or urination
- heavy menstrual bleeding
In some cases, you may not even suffer any symptoms. It is, therefore, indispensable that you get constant and regular gynecological examinations that will allow your gynecologist to determine any changes in your body early.
It is vital for women trying to manage the condition to find relief from the symptoms, especially when they have not established how to treat the disease. Fortunately, there are various natural remedies for endometriosis that will help reduce the symptoms.
Stages of Endometriosis
There are four stages of endometriosis. The stages range from the following:
Different conditions and factors determine the various stages of the disease. These factors can include the depth of the endometrial implants, location, size, and number.
Stage 1: Minimal
There are minor wounds and lesions in minimal endometriosis. The endometrial implants on your ovary are also shallow. Inflammation may also occur in your pelvic cavity.
Stage 2: Mild
The mild form of endometriosis suggests shallow implants and benign lesions on the pelvic lining and the ovary.
Stage 3: Moderate
This stage of endometriosis involves deep implants on your pelvic lining and ovary. This stage can also contain more lesions.
Stage 4: Severe
The most severe case of the condition involves a deep implant on your ovaries and pelvic lining. Your bowel and fallopian tubes may also contain lesions.
The symptoms of endometriosis may have close similarities with the symptoms of other conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease and ovarian cysts. To effectively treat endometriosis, you must have an accurate diagnosis of the condition.
In the process of diagnosis, your doctor or gynecologist may perform any of the following tests:
Your doctor will have to associate your symptoms with your personal or family history of the condition. The doctor may also perform a general health assessment to know if any other signs of a disorder may be long-term.
In the case of a pelvic examination, your doctor will try to feel your abdomen for scars or cysts behind the uterus.
The doctor may make use of an abdominal ultrasound or a transvaginal ultrasound. A transducer is inserted into the vaginal during a transvaginal ultrasound.
The two ultrasounds provide images of your reproductive organs. These images can help the doctor discover any cyst associated with endometriosis, but they are not effective in ruling out the disease.
The best method of identifying endometriosis is by directly viewing it. This can happen by carrying out a minor surgical procedure called laparoscopy. Once the doctor has established the condition, they can remove the tissue by following the same process.
Risk Factors Associated with Endometriosis
Ten percent of childbearing women in the United States have endometriosis. These women are between the ages of 25 and 40. The condition usually develops years after you have started your menstrual cycle. Endometriosis can be pretty painful; however, understanding the condition’s risk factors can help you know whether you are prone to this condition or not.
Women of all ages are susceptible to endometriosis. Although it usually affects women between 25 and 40 years old, the symptoms can start at puberty.
If you have a family member that experiences pain from endometriosis, you should talk you your doctor because you may be highly susceptible to the condition.
Pregnancy may decrease the symptoms of endometriosis, but that is just temporary. However, women who have never had a child run a greater risk of developing the condition. In some cases, endometriosis can develop in women who have had kids.
If you know you have problems about your period like heavier and longer menstrual flows, shorter cycles, or menstruation that begins at a very young age, you should talk to your doctor. All these factors may increase your chance of developing endometriosis.
17 Natural Remedies for Endometriosis
Those who advocate for herbal healing have suggested some natural remedies for endometriosis work more effectively than medical treatments. The following home remedies may be the perfect solution you need to get rid of the pain and discomfort you’re experiencing.
- Cinnamon, Clove, Rose, and Lavender
- Pelvic Massage
- Over-the-counter Pain Reliever
- Dietary Changes
- Light Exercise
- Herbal Supplements
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Cod Liver Oil
Curcumin is the primary ingredient in turmeric, and it is pretty active. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is effective in battling endometriosis by reducing the production of estradiol. Clinical research has suggested that curcumin is capable of suppressing tissue migration of the uterus lining.
Chamomile can alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome; therefore, drinking chamomile tea can help relieve the symptoms of endometriosis. Chamomile contains a compound known as chrysin, which helps suppress the growth of endometrial cells.
Peppermint contains antioxidant properties. These antioxidant supplements can help reduce pelvic pain caused by endometriosis. Peppermint can also decrease the severity of pain resulting from menstrual cramps.
You can reduce your menstrual cramps by using diluted lavender oil during aromatherapy massages. Lavender is capable of relieving severe menstrual cramps caused by endometriosis. Lavender is also effective in reducing pain during menstruation.
Ginger contains enough properties to reduce pain associated with menstruation. This means that ginger could have a similar effect on endometriosis-related pain.
6. Cinnamon, Clove, Rose, and Lavender
When cinnamon, clove, rose, and lavender are mixed, the mixture is often effective in reducing bleeding and menstrual pain, especially when using the mix in aromatherapy massage. Advocates of herbal healing suggest the same combination can be effective in relieving one from endometriosis. Further studies on the blend of essential oils and some herbs may also bring about better healing remedies against endometriosis. Moreover, studies have shown there is little or no risk when these mixtures and blends are used correctly.
When you carry out treatment with a herb called ashwagandha, there will be a significant stress reduction. Women with severe endometriosis have increased cortisol levels, a hormone associated with the stress response. Therefore, ashwagandha may be pretty effective in reducing the severity of endometriosis.
Placing a hot water bottle or heating pad on the lower abdomen can help relax the cramping pelvic muscles. Also, taking a warm bath can reduce the pain. These methods are common treatments for menstrual cramps. Moreover, the relief is often immediate. Using a low-level heating pad is almost as effective for pain relief as ibuprofen.
9. Pelvic Massage
Massaging the area around the pelvis, including the sides, parts of the abdomen, and back, can help in reducing menstrual pain caused by endometriosis. Carrying out this type of massage shortly before the start of the menstrual period can be more comfortable. You can also make use of massage oil.
10. Over-the-counter Pain Relievers
OTC (over-the-counter) pain medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen are effective in fighting inflammation. The reduction of inflammation will automatically be the reduction of pain and cramping. Consult your doctor for the best dosing levels.
Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties. It may be able to inhibit a form of estrogen called estradiol. Turmeric will help in preventing the growth of estradiol. There are turmeric supplements, and they are available in a capsule. You can find the spice in teas, and you can also add it to your meals.
12. Dietary Changes
Making healthy changes to your diet may reduce the symptoms of endometriosis. However, you may have to carry out research to determine the best changes.
Reducing the intake of red meat and maximizing the consumption of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables can help in improving overall health.
Some researchers have suggested an elimination diet. This elimination diet involves staying away from foods that may cause inflammation, then slowly reintroducing them to find out which may cause problems for the individual.
Foods that are potentially problematic include:
- dairy products
- processed food
13. Light Exercise
Exercising regularly will help release “feel good” hormones known as endorphins which can reduce pain. Regular exercise can also help lower estrogen levels in the body, thereby improving the symptoms of endometriosis. Always stretch before and after every workout.
14. Herbal Supplements
Herbal supplements can help reduce symptoms of endometriosis, although scientists have carried out only very little research about it. It is crucial to chat with your doctor before taking any herbal supplement because the U.S. Foods and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor herbs for purity, dose, or quality.
It is vital to get extra rest, most especially during menstruation. You can release the pressure or pain on the back by lying on the side with the knees pulled close to the chest.
16. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are effective in reducing inflammation. You can find them naturally in fish that contain a high level of fat, such as salmon. They are also available in supplement form.
17. Cod Liver Oil
Taking cod liver oil daily can help reduce inflammation that may be the result of endometriosis. Like the omega-3 fatty acid, you can find cod liver oil as a supplement. Cod liver oil is available in any drug store near you.
Endometriosis is a chronic disease that is affecting the lives of millions of women. The truth is that there is no known cure for endometriosis, but you can manage the pain with natural remedies for endometriosis. If you follow the home remedies listed above effectively, you may live your life as if the condition is no longer present. Beside the natural remedies, a person may also require hormonal treatments or additional pain management to deal with some stubborn symptoms of endometriosis.
Always reach your doctor if you notice any symptom that refuses to go after carrying out some or all of the natural remedies for endometriosis.