Endometriosis Pain Management

Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Stacy Henigsman
Nutritionally Reviewed by

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue is similar to the lining inside the uterus. Endometrial-like glands and stroma,  grows outside of the uterus, often on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other areas within the pelvis. These growths can cause a lot of pain, particularly during periods, and can lead to other symptoms like heavy bleeding, fatigue, and infertility. Painful and heavy periods can impact your quality of life. If you are part of the more than 11% of women between the ages of 15-44 affected by this condition, chances are, you are looking for tips and options for endometriosis pain management. Endometriosis has no cure, but you can do a few things to ease the pain and discomfort and feel better. 

Understanding Endometriosis Pain

While not everyone’s symptoms are the same, a large number of women with endometriosis experience pain related to their period, pelvic pain or pain during intercourse. In a survey of over 300 women, 83% indicated that they experienced painful periods, and 72% said they had pelvic pain not related to menstruation. The severity and duration of the pain varies from person to person. Some might have mild discomfort, while others deal with debilitating pain that affects their daily lives. Because of this variability, it’s crucial to have a personalized approach to managing endometriosis pain tailored to each woman’s unique situation and needs. Finding the right pain management strategy can make a difference in living more comfortably with this condition.

Medical Treatments for Endometriosis Pain

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

OTC pain relievers can be effective, first-line treatments for managing endometriosis pain. Options like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Since you do not need a prescription, they are also convenient options. However, they do come with their risks. Research shows that chronic NSAID use can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and kidney and gastrointestinal issues. 

Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal contraceptives like combined birth control pills, patches, and contraceptive rings are popular options to help manage pain. They work by regulating the reproductive hormones that usually stimulate endometriosis growth, reducing or eliminating menstrual flow. Over time, consistently using hormonal birth control can help significantly ease or completely alleviate endometriosis pain. You may also have lighter and shorter periods.

Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (GnRH) Antagonists and Agonists

If OTC pain relievers and hormonal contraception don’t work, your provider may prescribe oral GnRH Agonists and Antagonists. This medication works by stopping your ovaries from producing estrogen and creating an artificial menopause. In turn, endometriosis tissue shrinks, alleviating pain. Research into endometriosis treatment with GnRH analogues shows a marked improvement in pain reduction.

Progestin Therapy

Progestin-based therapies are an effective option that regulates hormone levels to inhibit endometrial tissue growth, providing significant relief from pain and discomfort. These are typically long-term hormonal contraceptives like intrauterine devices (IUDs), rods placed under the skin, or birth control shots. Progestin-only pills are another option; taken daily, they can help manage symptoms by preventing the monthly build-up of the uterine lining. 

Aromatase Inhibitors

A much more recent option, aromatase inhibitors, are just now being studied for managing endometriosis symptoms. Aromatase is an enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen.  In research studies, aromatase inhibitors have shown promising results in reducing endometrial tissue and pain. Several clinical trials demonstrated that when used in combination with progestin or in combination with birth control pillsthere was a significant decrease in pain severity.

Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies

A combination of lifestyle changes and home remedies may also help manage endometriosis pain. Adopting a colorful, nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids could help. Some people add exercise, like yoga, to their routines, which can improve blood flow, reduce pain and relieve stress. Consider other ways to relieve stress, such as meditation and deep breathing. During painful episodes, like during your period, using heat therapy can provide speedy, topical relief. 

Warm Baths

Healing baths are some of the oldest forms of pain relief and treatment because they work! Sitting in a tub of warm water can help relax the pelvic muscles, increase blood circulation, and reduce inflammation, providing immediate relief from cramping and discomfort. You can enhance the experience by adding Epsom salts or essential oils like lavender.

Heating Pads

Another tried-and-true pain relief method is heating pads. These are convenient and effective at managing endometriosis pain. Applying a heating pad to the lower abdomen can provide targeted relief by dilating blood vessels and improving circulation in the pelvic area. They’re usually widely available, easy to use, and cost-effective. Use a cover or towel to protect your skin and avoid burns.

Alternative Pain Management Strategies

You may turn to alternative therapies for a number of reasons, such as not being able to tolerate medication side effects well or not wanting to take hormonal birth control. Before starting any new therapy, consult your healthcare provider to ensure it fits within your overall treatment plan for endometriosis. Each therapy should complement any existing medical care, and your provider can help you tailor these approaches to your specific needs and conditions.


A traditional Chinese medicine practice, acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific pressure points on the body to alleviate pain and promote healing. For endometriosis, acupuncture may help reduce pelvic pain by improving blood flow, releasing endorphins, and balancing your energy. Some find that regular acupuncture sessions complement their medical treatment by providing additional pain relief and improving overall well-being.


Yoga has many benefits and offers a gentle yet effective way to manage endometriosis pain through stretching, strengthening, and relaxation. There are even specific yoga poses to help with pelvic pain. These poses include child’s pose, cat-cow, and gentle twists. Regular yoga supports pain management, improves mood, and contributes to a more balanced and resilient body. 

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Focusing on strengthening your pelvic floor can reduce tension and pain. A specialized physical therapist can guide you through exercises and techniques to alleviate pelvic pain, improve muscle function, and enhance overall pelvic health. This therapy often includes manual therapy, biofeedback, and personalized exercise plans, helping to reduce pain and improve daily comfort.

The Role of Support Systems and Counseling

Don’t underestimate the value of a great support system. Emotional and psychological support are crucial in your endometriosis journey. Consult with a mental health professional to devise strategies for dealing with your symptoms' emotional toll. Community and peer groups will also provide a sense of belonging and solidarity, so you know you’re not alone. Building a supportive network with understanding friends, family, and online communities like Allara’s can provide ongoing encouragement and resources for navigating the emotional aspects of living with endometriosis. 

Thriving Beyond Endometriosis Pain

Endometriosis can be painful and impact your life in ways others may not understand. The good news is there are options to support your journey and, hopefully, provide relief. Allara Health provides personalized treatment for hormonal, metabolic & gynecological conditions that utilizes a holistic plan that merges nutrition, lifestyle, medication and supplementation, and ongoing, expert support to heal your body. Check out our treatment options to see if Allara is the right fit for you.

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