Living with Endometriosis

Woman running bath water.

Once you know you have endometriosis, you can think about your options for treatment. Even after treatment, most women have symptoms off and on until menopause. Then, when monthly periods are over for good, symptoms tend to subside or disappear. In the meantime, there is a lot you can do to help yourself feel better.

Help with emotions

Along with cycles of pain, you may have emotional cycles or mood swings. You may feel frustrated, or depressed. Don’t suffer in silence. Talking to someone you trust can really help. Also, spend time doing things you enjoy.

Pain control

Heat can help limit pain. Soak in a hot bath or use a heating pad. You may also find relief with yoga, meditation, or acupuncture. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen may also help. Those work best if taken just as pain begins. If needed, you may be given prescription medicine to reduce cramping and pain during periods. Keep track of your symptoms to help you anticipate and cope with the pain.

Nutrition

For some women, making certain changes in their diet seems to reduce symptoms:

  • Eat less refined sugar and white flour.

  • Eat more dairy and get adequate vitamin D.

  • Choose whole-grain breads and cereals.

  • Eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables each day.

  • Talk with your health care provider about taking nutritional supplements.

Pregnancy

Following treatment, many women with endometriosis are able to become pregnant. Some of these women find that being pregnant relieves symptoms — at least for a while.

Exercise

Frequent exercise can help control your symptoms. Try to exercise about 2 hours and 30 minutes a week. Doing so can help relieve pain, including cramps. Nonimpact choices may offer the most symptom relief. Try walking, swimming, or biking.

Talking about sex

Many women with endometriosis have pain during intercourse. To increase comfort, you may want to try new positions for sex. Some times of the month may be better than others. Also, talk with your partner about other ways you can be intimate. Massage might be a good option for both of you.



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