Endometriosis is a painful condition that occurs when tissue similar to the uterine lining, grows outside of the uterus — on ovaries, fallopian tubes, or spaces between the bladder, vagina, and rectum. It is estimated that 200 million women have been affected by the disease worldwide, yet many remain undiagnosed.
While pelvic pain is the most predominant symptom, 30 to 50 percent of women with endometriosis experience infertility.
Though there is currently no cure, with early diagnosis and a few lifestyle changes, symptoms and pain can be reduced, allowing for a better quality of life. Here’s how:
Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables while reducing red meat consumption may help decrease the amount of estrogen the body produces. Higher levels of estrogen are believed to contribute to excess tissue growth, like endometriosis. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, in some studies, have been shown to decrease the likelihood of becoming diagnosed with endometriosis as well.
When coping with endometriosis pain, working out may not be the most ideal choice. However, exercise is shown to improve circulation, decrease estrogen production, release pain-relieving endorphins, and help reduce stress. Consider both high-intensity and low-intensity activities — such as swimming or yoga.
Dealing with constant pain can be stressful and high levels of stress can exacerbate endometriosis symptoms. For most, it can feel like a never-ending cycle. Consider trying new relaxation techniques to manage your stress levels: like breathing exercises, meditation, choosing a creative outlet and more!
Over-the-counter pain relievers may be recommended to cope with endometriosis symptoms. Birth control pills and other hormone therapy may also be recommended to help reduce endometrial tissue buildup.Talk to your doctor about what course of treatment is best for you.
Acupuncture is not only a great method for relieving pain and promoting relaxation, but recent studies have shown acupuncture’s positive outcomes for women looking to conceive. And here at Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine, we’re pleased to offer fertility acupuncture to our patients.
For many, this course of treatment is unknown — if you are considering acupuncture, take a look at these most frequently asked questions
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if you would like to speak with our acupuncturist directly.