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Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue normally found lining the uterus is found in other body areas, most commonly in different parts of the pelvis such as the uterine wall or ovaries. The unfortunate results of this can include both extreme pain during menstruation and infertility. These symptoms can lead to depression, frustration, and sometimes feelings of isolation in women afflicted with this disorder. Roughly five to ten percent of premenopausal women have endometriosis and the accompanying endometriosis pain.
Managing endometriosis pain can be as simple as using hot water bottles, exercising, and controlling diet, or as invasive as surgery. It is always best to begin with simple measures, of course. Eating fresh, unprocessed foods is a great start. Including nuts, fruits, legumes, and vegetables is recommended, as is avoiding caffeine, sugar, salt, and alcohol which have been found to exacerbate endometriosis pain.
Though not fully supported by the Western medical community, there are several holistic medical modalities that can be tried for a less invasive approach to pain control. These include Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, homeopathy, massage, and yoga. Each of these approaches can play a part in alleviating or reducing endometriosis pain as a stand alone treatment or in combination with several other modalities.
One area that has been increasingly pointed to when determining the cause of endometriosis is stress. It seems that working women with demanding jobs are especially prone to this condition, and focusing on stress reducers has also proven to be an effective approach to reducing endometriosis symptoms. One method of stress reduction that is especially beneficial to women with endometriosis is group therapy. A support group also offers endometriosis suffers an outlet for feelings of depression and isolation that can occur in women who have endometriosis related infertility.
Birth control pills are often used to balance hormone levels and thus, relieve pain, and in severe cases pain management drugs may be utilized prior to progressing to surgery. The drawbacks of pain management through medication are increased tolerance in the case of pain medications and side effects for those taking either pain medications or birth control pills. Plus, women who wish to conceive will not be able to control endometriosis with birth control pills. However, once pregnant, most women with endometriosis should experience many positive effects including an absence of endometriosis pain.
When all else fails, surgical treatment to remove the sites of endometriosis can be successful. This depends entirely on the degree of endometriosis, however. Each individual must experiment with the different options for controlling endometriosis pain to find the treatment best for her specific case. The only permanent cure for endometriosis is a radical hysterectomy.
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