Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 23, 2023
Take Pain Relievers in Advance
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Take Pain Relievers in Advance

Some painkillers work best if you take them before your pain is severe. Ask your doctor if non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are an option for you. You can take them up to 24 hours before you expect menstrual pain to start. They block your body from making chemicals that cause inflammation. You can take NSAIDs regularly until your period or ovulation ends. Check the label so you don’t overdo it.

Do Physical Therapy
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Do Physical Therapy

PT isn’t just for rehabbing sports injuries or after an accident. Endometriosis can affect the way your pelvis and abdomen work, which can cause more pain. A pelvic or women’s health physical therapist can come up with a plan to help get those areas working right again.

Get Up and Moving
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Get Up and Moving

It’s understandable if you feel like lying on the couch when you’re hurting. But regular exercise can help you feel better. It doesn’t have to be extreme. Walking, stretching, and doing breathing exercises can all help ease your endometriosis pain.

Go Gluten-Free?
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Go Gluten-Free?

Some women who switch to a gluten-free diet feel less endometriosis pain. But it doesn’t work for everyone. Try cutting wheat from your diet for a few months to see how you feel. Instead of regular pasta, eat rice noodles or corn pasta. Replace wheat-based foods with rice, buckwheat, and lentils. After a month or two, you can try wheat again. If pain and bloating get worse, go back to a gluten-free diet. Talk to your doctor before you do.

Do Pelvic Floor Exercises
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Do Pelvic Floor Exercises

Endometriosis affects your pelvic floor muscles, and when they don’t work right, you can have even more pain. Pelvic floor exercises can strengthen the muscles and help you feel better.

Keep It in Perspective
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Keep It in Perspective

It can be tough to face an ongoing disease, and some ways of handling it are healthier than others. It’s better to focus on the problem and what you can do about it rather than your emotions and how those feelings make you want to act. For example, when you’re in pain, think about what you can do to feel better instead of how bad it makes you feel. This can reduce stress and depression and help your body feel better.

Could CBD Oil Help?
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Could CBD Oil Help?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of two key molecules in marijuana. The other one, THC, gets you high, while CBD doesn't. Research suggests CBD can help with pain and inflammation. While there isn’t much research on CBD and endometriosis specifically, some women say taking CBD oil helps ease their pain. If you want to try it, be sure to check with your doctor about getting CBD oil from a safe and legal source.

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Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that uses mild electric currents to treat pain. The currents hit your nerves and stop them from sending pain signals to your brain. Ask your doctor if TENS therapy would be a good addition to your treatment plan.

Relax With a Massage
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Relax With a Massage

A spa day might be just what the doctor ordered. A back or abdomen massage can help ease your menstrual pain, both right after the massage and even more in the weeks after. Massages can help you beat stress, too.

Tap Into Acupuncture
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Tap Into Acupuncture

This traditional Chinese medicine practice uses very thin needles to stimulate nerves and muscles. It is thought to release natural painkillers in your body, and research shows that acupuncture can help curb endometriosis pain.

Sprinkle on Cinnamon
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Sprinkle on Cinnamon

This spice could counter inflammation and may lower a hormone in your body that causes discomfort during your period. It’s not clear if it works for endometriosis pain, but in an Italian study, about a teaspoon helped some women with their menstrual pain. If you like the taste, it’s a safe and natural option to try on food or in a drink.

Botox Perk?
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Botox Perk?

Botulinum toxin (Botox) isn’t just for smoothing wrinkles on your face. Because it relaxes the muscles that it’s injected into, doctors use it to treat things like cerebral palsy, migraine, bladder problems, and eye twitching. A small study also found that it lessened pelvic pain and spasms for women with endometriosis. Though this sounds promising, more research is needed before it can become an approved treatment.

Don’t Skip Your Morning Coffee
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Don’t Skip Your Morning Coffee

A few studies have looked at a possible link between drinking coffee or caffeine and endometriosis. There doesn’t seem to be a link between the two, so if your daily routine includes a cup of joe, there’s no need to change that. It might even play a role in lowering your chances of getting endometrial cancer.

Take a Nap
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Take a Nap

Many women with endometriosis feel tired a lot. Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule and listen to your body. If you need a nap, take one. One study found that a short mid-afternoon nap in the days right before your period can boost your mood and make you more alert.

Talk to a Counselor
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Talk to a Counselor

The physical pain of endometriosis can also affect your emotions as you adjust to life with the condition. Make time to take care of your mental health. Meet with a wise friend, counselor, or psychologist to get support. It helps to talk through what it looks like to live with an ongoing disease.

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