Between 2 and 10 percent of women of childbearing age have endometriosis. Endometriosis is an often painful medical condition in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus. If you have endometriosis, you may deal with painful cramps, severely heavy monthly periods, and lower back pain. The good news is, there are steps you can take to help ease the pain of endometriosis and minimize the effect it has on your quality of life. Here are six tips for dealing with endometriosis:
1. Use an Electric Blanket
The heat from an electric blanket can help relieve muscle tension in your abdomen and provide quick pain relief and relaxation when you are dealing with severe cramps caused by endometriosis. Be sure to always have a thin layer of cloth between your skin and the electric blanket (like a tee shirt or bed sheet) in order to avoid irritating your skin. You can either lie on your back with the electric blanket placed on your stomach or lay the blanket on your bed and then lie on top of it, face down: whichever is more comfortable for you.
2. Try Acupuncture
Some women find relief from their endometriosis symptoms by getting regular sessions of acupuncture. Acupuncture is thought to stimulate the release of endorphins and other natural pain relievers in the body and reduce inflammation. It can also be very relaxing, which is helpful when facing an anxiety-inducing medical condition like endometriosis. Some health insurance plans even cover acupuncture sessions, so be sure to check with your insurance provider just in case.
3. Take OTC Painkillers
Just because you have endometriosis, this doesn't mean you have to suffer through painful periods without any relief or help. Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be quite effective at providing pain relief for even the worst menstrual cramps. If you find that OTC pain relievers are not strong enough for your severe cramps, ask your gynecologist about prescription options. Just don't give up and think you have to quietly suffer from painful periods.
4. Consider Taking Chasteberry Supplements
Chasteberry is a fruit that has long been thought to have medicinal properties. It is often used to naturally treat severe PMS symptoms, including those caused or worsened by endometriosis. You can buy chasteberry supplements online or ingest chasteberry in the form of herbal chasteberry tea. Chasteberry normally needs to be taken consistently on a long-term basis in order to see the best results. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking chasteberry supplements, as they can interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications.
5. Try Calendula Oil
Calendula oil is an essential oil derived from marigold flowers, which is used as a natural remedy for a host of problems, including the pain of endometriosis. Calendula oil is a traditional remedy for PMS and menstrual cramps. Calendula oil is normally used topically by gently massaging the essential oil into the skin of your abdomen. Fans of calendula oil say that it naturally and quickly reduces pain and inflammation.
6. Get Plenty of Iron
Because endometriosis often causes heavy periods, the related blood loss can lead to iron deficiency or even anemia. To help combat this, be sure to get plenty of iron in your diet by eating more iron-rich foods, like red meat, beans, and spinach. You can also take an iron supplement if you're concerned you aren't getting enough iron from your diet.
If you need help managing your endometriosis or would like to explore possible treatment options, it's time to make an appointment with an OB-GYN specialist. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to most effectively treat your endometriosis. Contact a representative from an establishment like Rural Health Services Consortium Incor for further information.