Because there is no current cure for endometriosis, finding ways to manage symptoms long-term is the best option for most patients. From a medical perspective, endometriosis is typically managed with pain medication, hormone therapy, and surgery.
However, several natural remedies for endometriosis are also effective. While some women combine natural remedies with conventional treatment, others prefer to steer clear of any side effects by solely managing endometriosis symptoms via the natural route.
In this article, we’ve outlined the most effective natural remedies for managing endometriosis symptoms.
What Does Endometriosis Do to the Body?
Like the endometrium, misplaced endometrial-like tissue growing outside the uterus also reacts to hormone fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, estrogen surges in particular. To make matters worse, statistics suggest that the automatic synchronization of estrogen and progesterone is disrupted in women with endometriosis, causing many to produce excess levels of estrogen.
After ovulation, for example, estrogen levels naturally rise to thicken the endometrium in preparation for the implantation of a fertilized egg or embryo. If implantation does not occur, the endometrium breaks down, bleeds, and is shed from the body during menstruation.
Endometrial-like tissue growing outside the uterus also thickens when estrogen levels rise, often resulting in bloating, cramping, and pelvic pain before menstruation in women with endometriosis. When egg implantation does not occur, and the endometrium is shed during menstruation, endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus also bleeds.
However, this blood is not released from the body. Instead, it forms scar tissue, lesions, or adhesions on pelvic organs and endometriomas (cysts on the ovaries). Pain is often the result of these endometrial implants and inflammation occurs as a healing response from the body. Unfortunately, the body cannot heal endometriosis, and the cycle of endometrial-like tissue growth, pain, and inflammation continues.
The Most Effective Natural Remedies for Endometriosis
Natural remedies to manage excess estrogen, address pain, and lower inflammation are proving highly effective in managing symptoms of endometriosis on an ongoing basis. Since endometriosis feels different for every woman, one remedy might work for some, while a combination of remedies might be better suited to others.
In our experience, the most effective natural remedies for endometriosis are:
1. Pelvic Physical Therapy
Regular sessions with a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic health and pelvic conditions can provide deep pelvic pain relief for women with endometriosis. With an acute understanding of the inner workings of the body, its muscular system, the female reproductive system, and pelvic organs, physical therapy has helped women with endometriosis all over the world.
As an added bonus, most pelvic health physical therapists will also teach endometriosis patients how to self-massage for relief at home.
2. Pelvic Massage with Pelvic Wands
Pelvic wands are specially designed medical tools to massage and relax the deep muscles of the pelvic floor. They are often recommended to women with endometriosis to sustain the relief experienced from pelvic physical therapy. Designed to be used in the comfort of your own home for self-massage in the pelvic area, pelvic wands provide gentle but effective massage for tender points within the pelvic area.
Made from the smoothest and softest medical-grade silicone, Intimate Rose Pelvic Wands are ergonomically designed to gently sweep through the vaginal opening or rectum until it touches a trigger point or tight muscle. Massage is applied by softly pressing the wand's tip against pelvic tender points as lightly as one might test a peach for ripeness.
After one or a few minutes of gentle pressure from the tip of the wand, patients experience a release of tightness and relief. Intimate Rose wands are also designed with heat and cold therapy in mind.
3. Dilator Therapy for Dyspareunia
Pain during or after sex is a common symptom of endometriosis due to the pelvic pain and inflammation regularly experienced in reaction to endometrial growths. Unfortunately, once painful sex is experienced a few times, the mind remembers and sends signals for the vaginal muscles to spasm in protection upon the mere prospect of future penetration.
For women with endometriosis, the vaginal muscles can also tighten in response to ongoing pelvic pain as well as pelvic floor dysfunction. This can be so uncomfortable that inserting a tampon or gynecological instrument during a pelvic exam can be just as painful as intercourse.
Vaginal dilator therapy, which involves a set of tube-shaped medical tools ranging in size from small to large, is used to relax tight vaginal muscles and gently guide women back to a pleasurable sex life. Formerly made from glass or plastic, dilators made from soft yet adequately firm medical-grade silicone are currently the top recommendation from pelvic health professionals.
While this form of therapy is ideal for women with endometriosis who are hoping to get pregnant, it is also beneficial for those who simply want to enjoy intercourse again, as well as women recovering from surgery to remove endometrial growths.
4. Endometriosis Diet and Anti-Inflammatory Foods
An endometriosis diet centers around eating foods that reduce inflammation and expel extra estrogen from the body. For example, foods that are high in fiber are known to get rid of excess estrogen with each bowel movement. Red meat and dairy products, on the other hand, contain high amounts of saturated fats, which contribute to increased production of estrogen and should therefore be avoided, or at least reduced.
Foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties like omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats should be included in an endometriosis diet to reduce the inflammation linked to endometriosis. Nutritionists also suggest that drinks and foods known to cause inflammation, like alcohol, caffeine, sugar, processed foods, and lunch meats should be avoided.
Ensuring that enough calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and zinc are consumed in their diet is also helpful for women with endometriosis to manage symptoms.
To experience relief from endometriosis through diet, it’s best to speak with a nutritionist who can help set up a healthy and well-balanced eating plan that includes all the necessary nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
5. Relaxing Practices - Yoga, Meditation, Breathing
Light physical exercise, stretching, and diaphragmatic breathing can also help to relieve pain, pelvic tightness, and inflammation for endometriosis patients. Yoga poses like Child’s Pose and Deep Squats can help relieve ongoing pain and tightness in the pelvic floor and lower back.
Light exercise like walking, hiking, swimming, or slow jogging tends to improve moods, as well as relieve feelings of depression and fatigue. Diaphragmatic breathing helps people with pain to improve blood circulation, release tension, and relax.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that provides relief from pain when practiced on a preventative basis. Involving the insertion of small needles into the skin to connect with particular pressure points in the body, acupuncture is known to ease pelvic pain in women with endometriosis.
For some women with endometriosis, standard medical treatments like pain medication, hormone therapy or surgery do not provide the ongoing relief they require. Others may find that hormone therapy results in unwanted side effects or diminished hopes of getting pregnant. In these cases, natural remedies for endometriosis can be effective in relieving symptoms and used long-term without any adverse side effects.
If you are suffering from symptoms of endometriosis, speak with your healthcare provider about how pelvic physical therapy, pelvic wand massage, dilator therapy, acupuncture, and an endometriosis diet could help you.
Endometriosis Foundation of America – Endometriosis: Defining It, Recognizing It, and Treating It -
International Journal of Molecular Science - Progesterone and Estrogen Signaling in the Endometrium: What Goes Wrong in Endometriosis? - https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/15/3822
National Library of Medicine - Physiotherapy Management in Endometriosis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9740037/
National Library of Medicine - Nutrition in the prevention and treatment of endometriosis: A review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9983692/
Science Direct - Efficacy of acupuncture for endometriosis-associated pain: a multicenter randomized single-blind placebo-controlled trial - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0015028223000729