Can I Prevent Endometriosis?

Although there’s no way to totally prevent endometriosis, you may be able to lower your chances of getting the condition and to manage your symptoms if you do get it.

The condition happens when the endometrium, the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus, grows outside of it instead. The theory is that this tissue still acts like it should during your menstrual cycles. That means this tissue will break apart and bleed during your period. This causes severe pain in most women who have it.

Lower Your Estrogen Levels

Your doctor can prescribe hormones that can lower your estrogen levels. These include birth control pills, patches, or vaginal rings with low doses of estrogen. Hormone therapy can also help with pain, but the effects will only last as long as you are taking the hormones. As with any medication, you should talk with your doctor about the pros and cons before you decide to try it.

Exercise

Working out is great for your whole body. And if you make it a habit to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise four to five times a week, it could lower your chances of getting endometriosis. 

Exercise will help you keep your body weight down and maintain low body fat.

One study also shows that exercise can also boost your levels of “good” estrogen metabolites (compounds that are made when estrogen breaks down) and lower your levels of “bad” ones. How much that might affect your chances of getting endometriosis still needs more research, though.

Avoid Alcohol

Studies have shown that drinking too much alcohol can raise the amount of estrogen your body makes, which could lead to endometriosis. If you’re a woman who drinks, stick to no more than one alcoholic drink per day.

Cut Down on Caffeine?

The research on whether this helps is mixed.

One study found that women who drink moderate amounts of caffeine from soda and green tea had higher levels of estrogen. But caffeine wasn’t linked to estrogen levels in all the women in that study. And when other researchers checked eight studies on caffeine and endometriosis, they found no link.

If you want to see whether it makes a difference for you, you could try decaf or caffeine-free drinks, and always get plenty of water so you stay hydrated.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on November 08, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

Jean Hailes for Women’s Health: “What is Endometriosis?”

National Institutes of Health: “What are the treatments for endometriosis?”

Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Endometriosis.”

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition : “Caffeinated beverage intake and reproductive hormones among premenopausal women in the BioCycle Study.”

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “Alcohol’s Effects on Female Reproductive Function.”

Breastcancer.org. “Exercise May Lower Risk by Changing Estrogen Metabolism.”

European Journal of Nutrition : “Coffee and caffeine intake and risk of endometriosis: a meta-analysis.”

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