There is no one specific treatment plan that works for everybody, but there are several ways you might find helpful to make your condition more manageable on a day-to-day basis.
Pain relief and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
NSAID’s such as Ibuprofen and Mefenamic Acid are amongst a group of drugs given to block prostaglandins. Prostaglandins play numerous roles in the body, some good and some bad.
One of the roles they’re known for is responding to injury and pain by raising inflammatory markers - which in turn increases contractions, causing pain and cramping. There are several medications such as NSAID’s that have been developed over the years to counteract their actions.
Analgesics drugs are used to target pain, such as paracetamol, Opioid’s - stronger drugs including codeine-based pain medications and pain modifiers such as Amitriptyline - drugs that are used to influence the body’s central nervous system.
It's important to know:
There are side effects, and whilst these medications can be effective, some may aggravate existing symptoms of Endometriosis, and others may have a negative effect on you and your fertility– especially when taken for long periods of time or around the time of ovulation.
They could also make you become dependent on them.
If your pain does not subside and your symptoms persist, it’s important to discuss this with your GP and medical team.
Hot and cold application
Taking a warm or cool bath or placing a cooling or heating pad on the lower abdomen or back may help improve pain. Avoid applying heat directly to a specific localised area, this is to reduce the risk of irritation, and burning of the skin.
There are lots of ways to help take care of your general health which may help improve your symptoms of Endometriosis along with your future fertility.
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) machines have been used to target pain for decades, particularly menstrual related pain.
Pelvic health rehabilitation
A physiotherapist can work with you by developing personalised programmes which exist of specific exercises and stretches to help with targeting pain and strengthening and increasing the flexibility of your pelvic floor.
Because pelvic floor rehabilitation is a tailored therapy, it is important to be open and discuss your symptoms clearly to help your physiotherapist develop a programme best suited to you.
Physiotherapy is available both privately and through the NHS. Some areas offer an NHS self-referral service which you can organise yourself, you can simply ask your General Practitioner (GP) for more information.
Our Ambassador, Dr Anita Mitra, discusses pelvic health rehabilitation
Specialist pain clinics
Some hospitals and trusts provide specialist pain clinics for people experiencing chronic (ongoing) pain. Speak to your GP or endometriosis specialist to find out how you can get referred.
Complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture, physiotherapy, osteopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic practices, aromatherapy, meditation, and massages are some of the many therapies used by people with Endometriosis. Since muscle tension and stress can play a huge role in chronic pain and symptoms, you might find these therapies helpful.
Hormone therapy treatments
Hormone therapy treatments such as the mini pill, Mirena IUS coil, or other forms of hormone therapy treatments used to limit, help regulate, or temporarily stop periods.
Surgery to remove Endometriosis, separate organs held together by scar tissue, remove cysts in the ovaries - whilst taking care to avoid causing further damage to the ovary and its function.