Is there pain relief for endometriosis? Find out this Endometriosis Awareness Month

Knowing your body is empowering, and believe it or not: you don't need to get a science degree to acquire that power. Learning what makes your body tick isn't always hard, and helps you retain control of its pleasures and pains, temporary illnesses, and chronic disorders. Endometriosis is no exception.

 

As of 2022, 190 million women have endometriosis on their female reproductive organs. This disease is currently incurable (although not untreatable). Numerous celebrities, from Susan Sarandon to Halsey, are open about their endometriosis diagnosis. Yet, outside the medical community, the disorder is still surrounded by myths and uncertainties, widespread even among long-time sufferers. 

 

Statistically, women will spend seven years living with endo before officially diagnosing it. Endometriosis — or ‘endo’ — often gets mistaken for “normal” period cramps, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, PCOS, UTIs, and numerous other health issues. To fight misinformation and spread knowledge about the condition worldwide, The Endometriosis Association began Endometriosis Awareness Month back in 1993. 

 

What is endometriosis? 

Every female uterus has a lining layer inside: a tissue called the endometrium. With endometriosis, this tissue starts forming outside the organ as well, in places where it has no business growing. Those abnormal clumps called implants can be found in: 

  • Ovaries and fallopian tubes;
  • Spaces between the rectum, bladder, and uterus, as well as on the rectum and bladder walls;
  • Lower abdomen and pelvis;
  • (Less commonly) intensities, appendix, lungs, arms, thighs, or skin. In some relatively rare yet intense cases, the eutopic endometrium grows around the sciatic nerve, which is the largest in the human body. Sciatic endometriosis causes painful sensations in the legs, hips, or pelvis, and can affect one’s walk. 

 

Despite being abnormal, implants act like a regular uterus endometrium would: they react to all phases of a menstrual cycle, including the rise and fall of hormones.  

The most common symptoms caused by endometriosis are

 

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhoea). Implants can bleed and hurt when period comes, and the vaginal flow can be heavy;
  • Pain during sexual acts (dyspareunia). Endometriosis often adheres to the vagina and the rectum. Thrusting and other forms of physical sexual stimuli worsen inflammation and trigger painful sensations;
  • Infertility, subfertility, miscarriages; 
  • Bowel symptoms; 
  • Painful sensations in the abdomen and pelvis. 


Females in their reproductive years (including young teenagers) can develop endometriosis, but it prevails within the 25-35 age group. It should be noted that not every diagnosed patient will experience evident symptoms, but various degrees of pain and discomfort are extremely common. 

What causes endometriosis? 

The official cause is still unknown, but the two main theories are: 



  • Genetic predisposition, with endometriosis running in the family. Having a mother, sisters, grandmothers, or cousins affected by it increases your own risk of developing endo. 
  • Retrograde menstruation is when menstrual flow takes the wrong direction. Instead of flushing the buildup of blood and fragments of the uterus lining, the body sends it up the fallopian tubes. The debris stays inside, embedding itself on the organs. 

 

What kind of endometriosis pain relief is most effective? 

Endometriosis, thankfully, is not a fatal illness. But the symptoms are often intense and crippling to the point of affecting the person’s daily life and mental health. 

Modern medicine has numerous solutions for dealing with the disorder, including pain relief and reproductive health improvements (meaning that you absolutely can give birth successfully, especially with the help of the right specialist). And if you or someone you know is in search of the right endometriosis treatment, do not try anything before consulting an OB-GYN. The information we’re sharing below is for educational purposes only, spreading awareness about some of the available options for quick pain management.  

 

Best pain relief for endometriosis: examples 

Pain medication and pain management devices 


Oral anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs) and pain modifiers work differently: the former block the production of prostaglandins, the latter tricks your body into perceiving pain differently. Both have proven effective against mild to acute endometriosis pain. (Note that opioids are not recommended for endo sufferers. So if other types of painkillers don’t work for you, ask your doctor for an alternative treatment that doesn’t require opioids). 

  • Period pain relief machines (also known as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators or TENS) like Livia work similarly to pain modifying medication — they just act from the outside. The device gently and discreetly stimulates the nerves, preventing them from sending those panicky pain signals to the brain. (Check the special Endometriosis Awareness Month offer for the extended kit here). 

Physiotherapy

  • A complex of physical exercises (for example, Yoga or Pilates-based) can gently dissolve the pain and the stress, as well as strengthen the pelvic floor in the long run.

Heat therapy

  • A good old heating pad or a very warm bath/shower. Endometriosis pain tenses up the muscles, leaving the body sore afterwards, but the heat helps loosen them up.   

Remember: no one should be ashamed of their endometriosis diagnosis. It’s a widespread and manageable condition, and you are bigger than whatever obstacles it tries to throw in your way. 

Stay safe and don’t forget to love your precious body and mind. 

 

Reminder: get 10% off your MyLivia Period Pain Relief Device this March. Honor Endometriosis Awareness Month with us!