Endometriosis is a painful condition that currently has no cure. Still, several home remedies, such as heat and certain supplements, may help reduce your symptoms.
Endometriosis is a disorder affecting female reproductive organs, where cells that resemble the uterus lining, called endometrial cells, grow outside the uterus. The endometrium-like tissue most commonly grows in the pelvis, the ovaries, and the fallopian tubes. In severe cases, it can spread beyond the reproductive system.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic and low back pain, especially during the menstrual period. Rather than the cramping that many women experience during their periods, women with endometriosis often experience severe pain that can be difficult to manage. Other symptoms include:
- pain during intercourse
- pain with urination or bowel movements
- heavy bleeding during periods
- bleeding between periods
Finding relief from symptoms is important for women trying to manage the condition, especially if a treatment plan hasn’t been worked out yet. There are several home remedies that you can try to help reduce your symptoms.
If your symptoms are acting up and you need relief, heat may help. Heat can relax the pelvic muscles, which can reduce cramping and pain. You can use warm baths, hot water bottles, or heating pads to help treat cramping.
2. OTC anti-inflammatory drugs
It’s best to talk with your doctor before taking NSAIDs if you’re taking other medications or if you have a history of stomach ulcers.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples that can also be taken as a supplement. Some research has found that bromelain in combination with the supplement N-acetyl cysteine and the antioxidant alpha lipoic acid significantly reduced pelvic pain from endometriosis.
More research is needed, particularly on bromelain’s effects on endometriosis on its own. If you choose to try bromelain supplements, it’s important to first check with your doctor as it may interact with some medications.
Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit people experiencing endometriosis symptoms.
Some research has found that curcumin, a compound in turmeric, may reduce endometriosis pain. It’s still unclear exactly how curcumin achieves this result, but it may reduce inflammation and inhibit the development of endometriosis.
You can take turmeric capsules or you can make turmeric tea using turmeric root or tea bags. Remember to talk with your doctor before taking turmeric or other new supplements.
5. Anti-inflammatory foods
More studies are needed on diet’s effects on endometriosis, but some
By avoiding foods that cause inflammation and increasing foods with anti-inflammatory properties in your diet, you may be able to reduce symptoms in the future.
Inflammatory foods to eat less of include:
- red meat
- fried foods
Foods to increase include:
- green tea
- fatty fish
- green leafy vegetables
- olive oil
Some research indicates that massage may help with pain management for people with endometriosis. Another small study found that osteopathy, which involves physical manipulation similar to massage, improved symptoms of endometriosis.
More studies need to be done on the effectiveness of massage for endometriosis. Still, it’s a straightforward technique you can try at home to see if it reduces your endometriosis pain.
7. Ginger tea
Some people with endometriosis experience nausea as a result of the condition. Ginger tea is an established home remedy for treating nausea, and
You can purchase ginger tea packets at many supermarkets and grocery stores. When you’re experiencing nausea, add one to a cup of boiling water, let it steep, and drink.
A very small study of 15 women with endometriosis found that practicing yoga twice a week for 8 weeks helped reduce pelvic pain. A
You can learn yoga poses online or try taking a class in your community.
If you’re experiencing pelvic pain, pain during sex, or heavy or abnormal periods, make an appointment to see your doctor. They will likely conduct a pelvic exam and may order an ultrasound. A surgery called a laparoscopy is needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Since endometriosis can cause infertility, it’s also important to see your doctor if you have endometriosis and are planning on getting pregnant.
Your doctor may recommend treatments including:
- pain medications
- hormone therapy, which may slow endometrial growth and reduce symptoms
- surgery, where the endometrial-like tissue is removed
- hysterectomy, which is a surgery to remove the uterus (note that you cannot carry a pregnancy after this procedure)
Endometriosis can cause painful symptoms that are difficult to manage. The home remedies discussed above can help with symptom management but are best used alongside other treatment options that your doctor prescribes.