Pain caused by endometriosis is one of the most debilitating health challenges we hear about. In fact, next to infertility, pain is one of the main factors causing a woman with endometriosis to seek outside help from an Ob/Gyn or other health practitioner.
Medical doctors usually prescribe birth control, hormone blockers like Lupron, or pain-relieving drugs to help manage endometriosis pain. However, new research shows natural therapies can provide significant pain relief without causing side effects or harm to fertility.
What Causes Endometriosis Pain?
Not all women with endometriosis experience pain, but for many, it is severe. Numerous factors are thought to be involved in the endometriosis pain cycle:
- A major increase in inflammatory chemicals (cytokines).
- Cyclical bleeding from endometriosis growths (called endometrial implants).
- Development of scar tissue/adhesions. Multiple adhesions can cause the reproductive organs to become misshapen or twisted (kissing ovaries).
- Irritation of the pelvic floor nerves or other nerves. Sciatic pain is common, too.
Natural Therapies For Endometriosis Pain Relief
If you’re suffering from endometriosis pain, here are some of the best natural therapies to pursue with your chosen health professional or endometriosis specialist.
1. NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine)
NAC increases glutathione, a natural detoxifying chemical in the body. Through this action, NAC helps eliminate chemicals and excess hormones that worsen endometriosis. A 2013 study finds after 3 months, NAC relieved endometriosis pain, cysts and lesions for a significant number of women. 24 of the women studied actually cancelled surgery because they had less pain, a complete disappearance of symptoms or had gotten pregnant!
2. Anti-inflammatory herbs like Ginger and Turmeric
Using anti-inflammatory herbs like Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Turmeric (Curcuma longa) can ease symptoms on tough days. Ginger and turmeric soothe pain and contain high amounts of enzymes and antioxidants for help with tissue repair. Each can be added to your diet, but for therapeutic effects, consider ginger capsules 1,000-2,000mg daily in 2-4 doses, or turmeric at 400 to 600 mg three times a day. See The Benefits of Turmeric for Fertility Health for recipes to try.
A 2011 double-blind study of 62 women reveals the probiotic, Lactobacillus gasseri, alleviates endometriosis menstrual pain and dysmenorrhea. Just 100mg for 12 weeks lessened pain and improved quality of life for the women studied. Probiotics are widely available at most natural food stores.
4. Systemic Enzymes
Taken on an empty stomach, systemic enzymes help the body fight pain and help decrease scar tissue and abnormal growths caused by endometriosis. Enzymes are extremely well tolerated and can be used regularly. Learn more: How To Use Systemic Enzyme Therapy To Increase Your Fertility
5. Fertilica UteriCalm
This gentle herbal blend works to calm the uterus, and relax menstrual cramping. UteriCalm is safe for preconception needs and can be taken through the first trimester of pregnancy if approved by your health practitioner.
6. Self-Fertility MassageTM
Practicing Self Fertility MassageTM promotes reproductive circulation and helps stimulate the body’s natural healing response. Use Radiant Womb – Therapeutic Fertility Massage Oil during Self Fertility MassageTM for added benefits. Radiant Womb eases discomfort while decreasing body congestion. Note: Don’t do Self Fertility Massage during your period, if you have large or painful ovarian cysts, or after ovulation when you’re actively trying to conceive.
New research finds melatonin provides significant pain relief for endometriosis. Learn more: Study: Promising Benefits of Melatonin in the Treatment of Endometriosis Note: Melatonin is a type of hormone, and is best used with guidance from a health practitioner or short term in my experience.
Make Pain Relief a Priority
Work with an endometriosis specialist to create a pain relief program that works for you. In addition to the natural therapies in this article, which can be used with most endometriosis treatment programs, I highly recommend physical therapy. A skilled physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, and techniques to reduce endometriosis nerve pain.
Feeling better is so important in your recovery process. Take advantage of natural therapies if you’re experiencing endometriosis pain. You won’t regret this step as you work to rebuild your health and fertility. Your whole life, outlook and fertility can change with an effective natural pain relief program.
- Bernardi, L. A., & Pavone, M. E. (2013). Endometriosis: An Update on Management. Womens Health, 9(3), 233-250. doi:10.2217/whe.13.24. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.2217/WHE.13.24
- Hudson, T. (2013, Nov.). NAC: Something New For Endometriosis. Retrieved from: http://drtorihudson.com/general/dietary-supplements/nac-something-new-for-endometriosis/
- Porpora M., Brunelli R., Costa G., et al. (2013, April). A promise in the treatment of endometriosis: an observational cohort study on ovarian endometrioma reduction by N-acetylcysteine. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Article ID 240702, 7 pages DOI: 10.1155/2013/240702. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941414/
- Zhang, Y. et al. (2013, May). Curcumin inhibits endometriosis endometrial cells by reducing estradiol production, Iran Journal of Reproductive Medicine; 11(5): 415–422. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941414/
- Kellen, D. (2018, Feb.). Is Turmeric An Effective Treatment for Endometriosis?. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/turmeric-effective-treatment-edometriosis/
- Hudson, T. (2015, May). Ginger for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding. Retrieved from: http://drtorihudson.com/botanicals/ginger-for-heavy-menstrual-bleeding/
- Itoh H. et al. (2011, March). Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2809 is effective especially on the menstrual pain and dysmenorrhea in endometriosis patients: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Cytotechnology; 63(2): 153-161 doi: 10.1007/s10616-010-9326-5. Epub 2010 Dec 10. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3080472/