Endometriosis is a gynaecological disorder in which the tissue that normally lines inside the uterus, known as the endometrium is also growing outside the uterus. Most commonly, the growth is on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, intestines and bladder, but in some cases, it can also spread outside the pelvic area. Symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, pain during intercourse or ovulation. Endometriosis is a common cause of infertility, as severe endometriosis can distort the tubes and ovaries. It may also block the egg’s release by causing scar tissue or cysts.
If you are experiencing painful periods or ovulation pain, it’s important to see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. Here are 6 natural ways that are used to relieve the symptoms of endometriosis and help infertility.
1. Get more sleep.
Making sure that you are resting enough is one of the most important things you can do to cope with endometriosis symptoms. If you aren’t sleeping enough, your body will be less capable of combating pain. Try to get eight to nine hours of sleep every night. Take naps when you need to. Remember, you are dealing with chronic pain. That can really drain your energy levels. Be kind to your body and rest as needed.
2. Exercise regularly.
It can be very difficult to find the motivation to exercise when you are dealing with chronic pain. But studies show that moving regularly can really help decrease the severity of your symptoms. Brisk walks, easy bike rides, gentle yoga or swim 20 to 30 mins daily are all great ways to get your blood pumping. If you have a job that requires you to sit a lot, try to get up and move around for two minutes out of every hour.
3. Modify your diet.
Aim to get more vegetables each day. Data supports the fact that flavones, a group of plant chemicals, can inhibit aromatase, an enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens. Celery, parsley and capsicum pepper are good sources of flavones. Dietary indoles also help in regulating the estrogen metabolism in the body. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy are good sources of indole.
Limit your intake of animal fat. The research indicates that the more fat in your diet, the more estrogen your body produces. More estrogen can increase your endometriosis symptoms. So try to incorporate lean proteins into your meals, like Salmon, beans and lentils.
Eat more flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are high in lignans and fiber. Lignans are good in estrogen-related conditions because the bacteria in your gut converts them into metabolites that produce a weak estrogenic effect (meaning they can help to regulate estrogen-related conditions like endometriosis). You should eat 3 to 4 tablespoons of unrefined flax seed every day to maintain healthy blood levels of enterolactone. Other sources of lignans are whole grains, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, kale, broccoli and berries.
4. Use heat therapy.
Heat therapy is a pain relieving technique that you can try at home. Invest in a heating pad, or make your own. You can fill a cloth bag (or a sock) with rice and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then place on your abdomen or low back to relieve pain. Also remember don’t take any cold drinks and food one week before and during your period.
5. Take some supplements.
Magnesium is a mineral that is believed to ease cramping caused by menstruation. It also helps in preserving water levels in the gut and can help combat constipation. The daily recommended dosage is 600 mg.
Calcium levels in menstruating women decrease 10 to 14 days before the onset of menses. Deficiency can cause muscle cramps, headache or pelvic pain. The recommended daily intake is 1200 mg.
Vitamin C is well known for helping to boost the immune system and help provide resistance to disease. It helps in building and maintaining collagen in the body. It is important that your immune system is functioning properly so that your body can combat endometrial patches that form. The recommended dosage of Vitamin C is 1000 to 4000 mg.
Vitamin E plays an important role as it strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation due to its antioxidant nature. It is also thought to be able to relieve menstrual cramps. The recommended dosage is 800 IU.
6. Try Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Endometriosis means blood stagnation in the pelvic areas according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine could balance the hormones, reduce the stress and promote the energy and blood flow in the pelvic areas, which will reduce the inflammation, relive the period/ovulation pain as well as boost fertility.