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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Eki Wari on March 13, 2022

How To Soothe Your Endometriosis Symptoms For Good

While pelvic pain is sometimes the first sign that you may have endometriosis, it isn't always the reason. Learn how to spot uncommon endometriosis symptoms here and how to manage them using natural therpies.

Endometriosis feature min scaled

Endometriosis symptoms involve more than just pelvic pain. However, for many women, this is the first indication that something is wrong.

On the other hand, a woman may experience pelvic pain, but it isn’t always due to endometriosis. This can make it hard to know what’s really going on in your body.

In this article, our experts explain what endometriosis symptoms you should watch out for and natural remedies to help you feel better.

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs when tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside of it, resulting in pain and inflammation.

Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when tissue that normally grows inside the uterus starts to grow outside of it. Research shows that it affects up to 10 percent of American women aged 25 through 40.

Normally, during a woman’s menstrual cycle, tissue that lines the wall of the uterus builds up and sheds if she is not pregnant. However, for women with endometriosis, tissue that acts and looks like normal endometrial tissue begins to grow on other reproductive organs in the pelvic or abdominal cavity.

Every month, this tissue responds to a woman’s hormonal changes. It builds up and breaks down just like the tissue inside the uterus does, resulting in bleeding at the site of the tissue. The condition commonly occurs around these areas:

  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Ligaments located around the uterus (uterosacral ligaments)
  • The posterior cul-de-sac (the space between the uterus and rectum)
  • The anterior cul-de-sac (the space between the uterus and bladder)
  • The outside surface of the uterus
  • Inside the lining of the pelvic cavity

Endometriosis Causes

Doctors are not exactly sure what causes it. Some experts think that it may be due to pieces of tissue traveling back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity.

Here, these pieces of tissue may become stuck on surfaces of reproductive organs where they continue to bleed during normal menstruation. This leads to pain and swelling in surrounding tissue. Eventually, cysts and scar tissue can form.

The condition is genetic. Therefore, if endometriosis runs in your family, then you may need to be aware of symptoms. Other risk factors include giving birth after age 30 and having an anatomical problem of the uterus.

Endometriosis Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

It should be noted that your symptoms don’t reflect the severity of the condition. For example, a woman with advanced endometriosis may experience no symptoms at all. Other women may have severe symptoms but very little disease progression.

Endometriosis Symptoms, According To TCM

Endometriosis is diagnosed as “Zhen Jia,” menstrual cramps, and infertility in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), according to its symptoms. It can be associated with pelvic pain, heavy periods, back pain, nausea, pain during or after sexual intercourse, pain with bowel movements, and pain when you pee.

According to TCM physician Lim Sock Ling, “TCM can benefit a woman with endometriosis by using herbs and acupuncture to relieve pain, regulate blood circulation and correct imbalances.  

Physician Lim continued, “The causes of endometriosis are qi stagnation and blood stasis, a combination of phlegm, dampness, heat, as well as kidney deficiency.”

TCM believes stagnation results in pain. In order to relieve pain, the main treatment method includes promoting qi circulation and removing stasis. When circulation is smooth and regular, the pain will be relieved.

One treatment method for endometriosis involves removing phlegm, dampness and stasis. Dampness causes a person to feel heavy and lethargic, while phlegm can affect your sleeping quality, as well as mass formation. Strengthening the spleen and removing phlegm and dampness will relieve fatigue, and help to reduce mass. Invigorate kidney will help in infertility and regulating the menstrual cycle. 

Western Medicine Treatment Options

In Western medicine, there is no known cure or treatment for endometriosis. Your doctor may confirm your diagnosis by performing surgical procedure called a laparoscopy. This procedure involves inserting a small scope into the abdominal cavity to look for endometriosis tissue implants. He or she will try to remove these implants during the procedure. Your doctor may also take a biopsy of the tissue.

Western treatments are designed to reduce the pain and swelling associated with the condition, but they may not increase fertility. Your doctor may prescribe birth control pills, pain-relieving pills, progestins, or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH agonist). If your case is severe, your doctor may prescribe medical and surgical treatment.

TCM Treatments To Soothe Endometriosis Symptoms

Drinking ginger or peppermint tea with cinnamon can help reduce endometriosis symptoms.

According to Physician Lim, some herbs have proven to be effective in reducing the symptoms of endometriosis. This includes red sage, red peony, peach kernel, and Gui Zhi Fu ling pills. Based on the pharmacological study on active components of five Chinese herbs of Gui Zhi Fu Ling pills, each herb is useful in managing endometriosis.

Cassia Twig is commonly paired with poria cocos to promote blood circulation and dredging collaterals. When used with peach kernel, the anticoagulant effect is stronger than Cassia Twig alone. Red peony root is useful based on its analgesic effect and ability to promote blood circulation. Cortex moutan contains chemical components that have anti-inflammatory effect. 

A series of studies proved that treating endometriosis with Gui Zhi Fu Ling pills along or in combination with western medicine achieved satisfactory curative effect, and was considered as an alternative medicine to treat endometriosis.

Additionally, studies have shown that french maritime pine bark extract and dill to help with easing menstrual cramps. Physician Lim noted that when used alongside oral contraceptives, this combination could reduce endometriosis pain significantly.

Additional Herbal Support To Relieve Endometriosis Symptoms

Here are some other tips that may help:

  • Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian ginseng,” can help reduce stress, which is one factor leading to endometriosis.  
  • Drink chamomile tea before your period. This helps relieve muscle spasms and helps the nerve to relax. Chamomile also contains chrysin that can suppress and kill endometrial cells. 
  • Drink ginger tea during your period to help with pain relief. 
  • Cinnamon capsules and fennel seeds may help relieve period pain. Additionally, cinnamon extract has been shown to have a positive effect on insulin resistance and may regulate menstruation for women with PCOS.
  • A 2016 study found that peppermint can reduce the severity and duration of menstrual cramps.
  • Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory effects. Some studies show that it may help regulate hormones, slow the growth of endometrial tissue, decrease insulin resistance and soothe inflammation.
  • Bak Foong pills can also be taken to alleviate menstrual symptoms, including abdominal pain.

Do These Treatments Support Fertility?

Infertility is one of many possible endometriosis symptoms. If you have endometriosis and have not been able to conceive, then your doctor may be able to increase your fertility through one of the following methods:

  • Intrauterine insemination 
  • In vitro fertilization 
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection 
  • Surgery, laser treatment, or medicines to treat endometriosis or fibroids 
  • Hormone medications such as clomiphene can help stimulate ovulation   

Other treatment options include warm the womb, nourish blood, soothe liver and relieve stagnation, promote qi circulation, remove blood stasis and regulate menstruation, as well as remove dampness and phlegm.

Precautions To Take When Seeking Treatment For Endometriosis Symptoms

Herbs for endometriosis usually function to promote circulation and remove blood stasis. Do not take herbs if you are consuming blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin in view of the possible adverse effects, such as bleeding.

These herbs should not be taken during pregnancy because they could stimulate uterine contractions and possibly cause miscarriage. Consult a TCM practitioner and do not self-medicate when you have other underlying medical conditions or are pregnant or having menstruation. 

In addition, consult a doctor when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, such as heavy period flow, or painful periods, so that he/she can conduct the appropriate examination to diagnose the condition. The examinations can include pelvic examination, ultrasound, MRI or laparoscopy. 

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