Coping With Chronic Endometriosis Pain

Endometriosis comes with chronic pelvic pain, and can be emotionally and physically challenging to deal with. Affecting about one in ten of all women and girls in the United States, endometriosis causes pelvic pain and cramping during your reproductive years, from around the age of 12 through post-menopause. 

While chronic endometriosis pain isn't something you can completely avoid, you can take actions to reduce your discomfort and enhance your overall health and quality of life. At East Houston OB/GYN, Beryl Randolph, MD, OB/GYN offers compassionate care to patients suffering from endometriosis from around the Houston, Texas area.

Living with endometriosis

When you have endometriosis, your body produces tissues that act similarly to uterine tissue, growing in locations including your pelvic lining, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and bowels. When you get your period, if you have endometriosis, you can experience intense cramping and discomfort. While there isn't a permanent cure for endometriosis, you can take action to minimize your symptoms and maintain your quality of life.

Dietary choices seem to have an impact on your chances of developing endometriosis, as well as your pain levels if you have the condition. Foods that contain high amounts of fat, like red meat, can increase your chances of endometriosis by encouraging your body's production of estrogen. 

Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and decreasing your meat consumption may be helpful in reducing your risk. Be careful to wash fruits and veggies thoroughly, though – researchers have identified links between endometriosis and some pesticides. You can also try increasing your omega-3 fatty acid intake by eating foods like salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

Getting regular exercise can also be helpful if you're living with endometriosis. Regular physical activity can decrease your overall pain and discomfort levels, and high-intensity exercise can reduce the severity of symptoms during a chronic pain attack. Exercise gets your blood circulating, bringing oxygen to your organs and distributing nutrients. Regular exercise can also lower your body's estrogen production, reducing your endometriosis risk. 

Support, alternative therapies, and treatment options

Living with endometriosis can be difficult, and you may find yourself needing additional support to cope. To deal with your pain symptoms during an outbreak, try applying heat, using a TENS machine, or, if needed, using pain medication. Both wet and dry heat, in the form of a warm bath or a heating pad, can be helpful with pelvic pain.

It's important to manage your stress levels when you're coping with chronic endometriosis. Stress can worsen your symptoms, trapping you in a negative cycle of pain. Try relaxation techniques like meditation to reduce your stress. Practices like yoga may also be helpful.

Other treatment options can also help with your endometriosis symptoms. Talk to Dr. Randolph about whether or not hormone therapies could relieve your endometriosis pain. Hormone therapy slows endometrial tissue growth, and can potentially prevent your condition from worsening. Surgical treatments can also help patients with severe endometriosis. 

Dr. Randolph can help you evaluate your treatment options and choose the right combination of therapies for you. She has extensive expertise in the surgical treatment of endometriosis, including a laparoscopic procedure that has the potential to reverse endometriosis-related infertility.

To make your initial consultation appointment with Dr. Randolph, contact East Houston OB/GYN today. You can schedule over the phone, or by using our online booking tool

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