Endometrial tissue is the lining of your uterus. Each month, during your menstrual cycle, your body sheds that lining. However, if you have endometriosis, there’s a problem.
When endometrial tissue grows where it’s not supposed to be, outside of your uterus, you have endometriosis. This condition is painful, and during your menstrual cycle, the endometrial tissue outside of your uterus has no way to exit your body.
Dr. Parisa Pourzand helps patients with endometriosis develop pain management strategies that work on an individual level. If you’re searching for ways to cope with the chronic pain of endometriosis, she may be able to help you. This post presents a few of the strategies she may suggest.
Use a heating pad — or two
Endometriosis pain is often at its worst during your period. Some of the pain can be due to muscle cramping, and heat can help.
You may want to try using one heating pad on your abdomen and another on your lower back. Generally, it’s best to aim for 20 minutes of heat, then 20 minutes without.
There are now wireless heating pads, which may be a good option for you. Or, you may prefer a rice-sock — a sock filled with uncooked rice, heated in the microwave.
Another option is to take a hot bath. Sitting in a hot bath allows you to immerse all of the painful areas into heated water at the same time.
From over-the-counter medications to anticonvulsant medications, there are numerous options for treating chronic endometriosis pain with a pharmaceutical approach. Generally, there are four categories of prescription medications used to treat endometriosis pain:
- Muscle relaxants
- Hormonal therapy
Each type of medication has pros and cons associated with it, and Dr. Pourzand makes recommendations based on your medical history and situation.
Use a TENS unit
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit delivers quick bursts of electrical energy to your nerves and disrupts pain signals. TENS units are available over the counter and may be helpful for endometriosis pain.
In some cases, surgery is the most appropriate treatment for chronic endometriosis pain. Laparoscopic excision surgery is considered conservative, and also the gold standard for treating endometriosis pain.
In some cases, surgery doesn’t stop the pain. There may be other reasons to consider surgical intervention, so it’s important to discuss your expectations and goals for treatment carefully with Dr. Pourzand.
If you’re living with chronic endometriosis pain, book an appointment to discuss your situation with Dr. Pourzand. She may be able to suggest a combination of treatments that bring you much-desired, sweet relief! You can schedule an appointment at either of our convenient locations online or by phone.