Endometriosis? Take Good Care of Yourself

Endometriosis - Take Good Care of Yourself - Large

No one knows for sure what causes endometriosis. And while there is no cure, you can treat the symptoms that interfere with your social and work life. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, here are ways you can help yourself feel better. Once you learn how to manage your symptoms, it’s easier to live well with endometriosis.

Treating Endometriosis

Talk with your doctor or health care provider about ways to relieve the pain of endometriosis. She may prescribe hormone therapy, like birth control pills or injections. Common over-the-counter pain relievers can also reduce the discomfort of endometriosis:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Acetaminophen

If your pain is worse during your menstrual cycle, start these medicines one or two days before your period begins.

Simple Steps for Self Care

Ease the discomfort of endometriosis with:

  • Heat: Try a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower stomach. This helps get blood flowing and relaxes your muscles. Warm baths may also soothe the pain.
  • Rest: Lie down on your back, and place a pillow under your knees. If you’re on your side, pull your knees up toward your chest. Both positions take the pressure off your back.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise improves blood flow — and triggers endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers. Try to get in at least 2 ½ hours a week of activity. Non-impact choices like walking, swimming or biking may be best at relieving symptoms.
  • Healthy eating: Making diet changes can reduce symptoms. Cut down on refined sugar and white flour. Eat more dairy and get plenty of vitamin D. Include lots of fiber-rich foods like whole-grain breads and cereals, and consume at least 5 fruits and vegetables daily.
Once you learn how to manage your symptoms, it’s easier to live well with endometriosis.

Also try these techniques to help you relax and find relief:Endometriosis - Take Good Care of Yourself - In Content

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Deep breathing
  • Visualization
  • Meditation
  • Biofeedback
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture

If these self-care tips aren’t doing the trick, talk with your doctor or health care provider about other treatment options.

Small Steps: Get a Head Start
Study the infertility risk factors to see which ones you might be able to do something about. Take those to your doctor and start the conversation early about possible changes you can make.