About 11% of women of childbearing age suffer from endometriosis and its painful symptoms. Endometriosis happens when the tissue that lines the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus, causing pain and cramps at specific times during your menstrual cycle.
Rafael J. Perez, MD, FACOG, and our team at the Center for Urogynecology and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery in South Miami, Florida, offer patient-centered endometriosis treatment that includes both medical care, lifestyle changes, and self-care tips to help each woman find a solution that works for her.
In this post, learn about five techniques that could help you find symptoms relief, too.
1. Ask about medications
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication is often the first-line treatment for women with endometriosis.
Because these medicines target inflammation specifically, they can be very helpful in relieving mild to moderate endometriosis discomfort. NSAIDs can also be used in combination with other pain relievers, like acetaminophen, with the doctor’s guidance.
Hormonal therapy also uses medications — in this case, hormone products — to stabilize hormonal fluctuations that can cause symptoms to flare up.
Birth control pills and other forms of hormonal birth control, like patches, implants, and hormonal IUDs, can all be helpful. Of course, they’re not suitable for a woman who’s also trying to get pregnant.
2. Schedule a massage
Massage relieves muscle tension and helps you manage your symptoms more effectively. Plus, it can help reduce stress and anxiety, too.
Avoid more strenuous massages and opt for a gentler Swedish-style treatment. Add hot stones for additional muscle relaxation. Look for a massage therapist who specializes in massages for menstrual cramps and endometrial-related symptoms.
3. Get some exercise
When symptoms flare up, it’s really tempting to just curl up on the sofa and binge on your favorite TV shows. But data show moderate exercise offers multiple benefits for women with endometriosis.
First, exercise improves blood flow to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation, while also releasing feel-good endorphin chemicals to relieve pain and improve your mood.
Regular exercise helps improve your energy levels during the day and helps you sleep better at night. And by incorporating exercises that focus on your pelvic floor area, you can strengthen muscles that help support your pelvis for better posture and less aching in your back and belly.
4. Try meditation and stress relief
Meditation and similar techniques, like breathing exercises and guided imagery, ease pain by reducing anxiety and stress that tend to go hand-in-hand with discomfort. Using these techniques right before bed can also help you sleep better, which helps with pain management.
You can relieve stress by setting aside some “me” time each day, too. Use your time to listen to music, read, or engage in a hobby you enjoy — anything that helps you relax and unwind.
5. Plan ahead
Use a journal to keep track of your cycle, as well as your symptoms, so you can identify patterns to help you be proactive in pain management. If journaling isn’t your style, look for apps that track your cycle.
Anticipating days when symptoms might be worse allows you to give yourself extra time to get ready for work, schedule a massage, or to take medication ahead of time, before pain flares up.
Plus, knowing what to expect helps you manage stress that can accompany discomfort and make it feel worse.
The right solution for your endometriosis symptoms
We help women find the ideal solution for managing their endometrial solutions, including medication, lifestyle guidance, and surgery for more severe symptoms that don’t respond to conservative approaches.
To learn how we can help you manage your endometriosis symptoms, call us today at 305-240-6047 to request an appointment with Dr. Perez and our team at the Center for Urogynecology and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery.