Nonsurgical Treatments for Endometriosis
Endometriosis can be treated through nonsurgical methods including pain management, pelvic floor physical therapy, acupuncture, physical training, nutritional counseling and psychotherapy. These holistic treatments can help manage endometriosis symptoms so you can regain control of your health and live the life you deserve.
As a complement to the minimally invasive surgical treatments offered by specialists at The Center for Innovative GYN Care, CIGC’s Wellness Center can help you achieve long-term management of endometriosis symptoms. Award-winning laparoscopic specialist Dr. Natalya Danilyants, CIGC co-founder, calls on her more than two decades of gynecological expertise to lead The CIGC Wellness Center.
Treating Endometriosis Without Surgery
Nonsurgical treatment options for endometriosis can be effective for managing symptoms depending on the stage of the disease. Endometriosis progresses through four stages:
- Stage 1: Minimal implants and no significant adhesions
- Stage 2: Some deep implants but no significant adhesions
- Stage 3: Multiple deep implants, small ovarian cysts and some adhesions
- Stage 4: Multiple deep implants, large ovarian cysts and dense adhesions
Nonsurgical treatments are likely to be more effective in managing symptoms at earlier stages of endometriosis. Later stages can cause more significant pain and should be treated surgically. It’s best to have endometriosis evaluated by a specialist to assess whether surgery is necessary.
CIGC has specialists on staff who are experts in nonsurgical care for endometriosis. Each provider was selected with reputation, expertise and experience in mind. All care providers are highly skilled in treating patients with gynecological conditions and addressing each patient’s unique physical and emotional needs.
Physical therapy is often the first line of nonsurgical treatment for conditions like endometriosis. Pelvic floor physical therapy incorporates soft tissue stretching, relaxation exercises, biofeedback and other techniques. Other types of physical therapy for endometriosis include:
- Pelvis massage therapy – a way to break up scar tissue that limits range of motion
- Acupuncture – a safe method for alleviating anxiety and reducing pelvic pain
- Heat therapy – heat can help increase circulation and relax cramped muscles
Endometriosis can cause pain in the pelvis and lower back, which can result in secondary trigger points. These points can be relieved with trigger-point injections. For patients experiencing chronic pelvic pain due to endometriosis, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and other medical therapies may help. CIGC’s pain management specialist is committed to non-opioid medication management to facilitate relief from pain.
Some physicians may prescribe medication to treat the symptoms of endometriosis. Commonly prescribed medications include:
While these medications may temporarily alleviate pain and other symptoms, it’s important to recognize medications only mask symptoms and do not treat underlying conditions.
Diet and Supplements
Women looking for nonsurgical management for endometriosis may come across diet and supplement plans that claim to treat endometriosis symptoms. It is important to discuss what works and doesn’t work with a doctor and have a personalized nutrition plan created for you. CIGC’s nutritionists will develop a program with the right combination of supplements and diet plans for endometriosis, which may include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Taking omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil may help relieve endometriosis pain and reduce inflammation.
- Turmeric: As the primary active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin is known for having anti-inflammatory properties.
- Diindolylmethane (DIM): DIM is a natural estrogen blocker. Because tissue in the uterus is estrogen-dependent, taking DIM may reduce endometriosis symptoms while lowering elevated levels of estrogen.
- Biotin: Deficiency in biotin can sometimes lead to higher levels of prostaglandins during the menstrual cycle, which can result in more cramping and pain. Supplementing with biotin may reduce cramping.
- Fruits and vegetables: Some foods are thought to negatively affect endometriosis, such as red meat, gluten and foods that are high in trans fats. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diet may help lower pain and inflammation in the body.
- Herbal tea: Chamomile has been shown to reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, so drinking chamomile tea may also help relieve endometriosis pain and other symptoms.
- Herbal supplements: There is no scientific consensus that herbs and supplements can reduce endometriosis symptoms, but some women anecdotally report relief from milk thistle, probiotics and other herbs.
- Vitamins: Vitamins like vitamin B6 are found in non-citrus fruits, starchy vegetables and fish, among other foods. Because vitamin B6 may play a role in hormone regulation, it is thought to help relieve endometriosis symptoms.
- Botanical medication: Many medicinal plants and botanical products have shown anti-inflammatory properties, meaning they may help reduce inflammation associated with endometriosis.
These diets and supplements may help relieve symptoms for some, but there is no definitive home remedy for all cases of endometriosis. A holistic plan organized with an endometriosis specialist can help to manage symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nonsurgical Endometriosis Treatment
Can massage help with endometriosis?
Massage therapy can help loosen tight muscles, relieve tension and make it easier to relax. It’s possible that regular massage therapy can reduce muscular symptoms caused by endometriosis, such as lower back and pelvic pain.
Can acupuncture help with endometriosis?
Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves the insertion of thin needles at various points in the body to facilitate pain relief. Acupuncture can be used in patients with endometriosis to promote blood circulation and hormone regulation.
Does exercise aggravate endometriosis?
Regular exercise has been shown to reduce high levels of estrogen, but it’s important not to overdo it. Pain and inflammation in the pelvis can make certain workouts more difficult for those with endometriosis. It’s best to talk with an endometriosis specialist and come up with an exercise regimen that won’t exacerbate symptoms.
Can I get rid of endometriosis naturally?
The only definitive diagnosis and treatment for endometriosis is surgery. CIGC specialists use a minimally invasive technique that involves only a few small incisions and a quick recovery time. Natural methods can help manage, but not treat or prevent, endometriosis symptoms.
What is the best diet to treat endometriosis?
Because inflammation is usually associated with endometriosis, foods that are proven to be anti-inflammatory may reduce the severity of symptoms. These foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts and seeds.
Speak with an Expert
The most important step in the journey to find relief from endometriosis is to consult with a doctor or specialist before trying to handle the condition on your own. Treatment options may vary depending on the severity of the disease and any other medical conditions you may be experiencing. Our endometriosis specialists at CIGC can help you come up with a personalized treatment plan. Talk to our patient care team and get started on your pain relief journey today.