Treating Endo At Home
Whether or not you opt to treat your endometriosis (also called "endo") at home, using non-prescription medication or alternative therapies, your choice will depend on the type of symptoms you have.
Infertility - endometriosis can lead to infertility by causing parts of your reproductive organs to become scarred or twisted. So if you have endo and you want to get pregnant, but your doctor believes that your endometriosis is the cause of your reduced fertility, then treating yourself at home is not really an option (with the exception of making changes to your diet and lifestyle which will complement your medical fertility treatment).
Mild to moderate pain period pain - on the other hand, if the inflammation and discomfort of endometriosis during your period is your main concern, and you're not suffering too severely, you may well decide that you want to tackle the problem yourself.
Medicine And Diet
Your alternatives to professional medical treatment are not just limited to "alternative" medicine. Let's face it, when it comes to complementary therapies like homeopathy and acupuncture, some of us believe in them and find them helpful, and some us, well, just don't.
NSAIDs- you can take medicine for mild to moderate endometriosis pain without going to your doctor for a prescription. NSAIDs are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories like ibuprofen and advil. As an endo patient, this won't be news to you - but perhaps you aren't aware that taking these pills the day or for a few days BEFORE you expect your period pain to begin, may prove more effective than taking them only on the day when you're actually experiencing the cramps.
When To Take Prescribed Meds
You should always read the information contained in the packet of any medication you buy, and speak to your pharmacist if you have any questions. If you're taking the maximum allowed dose of an NSAID and you're not experiencing total relief, then you need to speak to your doctor about taking a stronger, prescribed medication.
Also - if you find that you suffer from constipation after taking NSAIDs, you must speak to your doctor about finding a pain reliever than won't have this effect. Being constipated on your period with endometriosis can be very uncomfortable indeed.
Diet - certain foods can worsen cramping and inflammation, so you should avoid them around the time of your period. Such foods include, for example, caffeine - namely caffeine-containing foods like chocolate, tea and coffee, obviously. Alcohol is also best avoided. Try to keep hydrated and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and other high-fiber foods to prevent constipation.
Be Good To Yourself
To relieve cramping you need to be relaxed. Warm baths, hot water bottles and massages are all well justified at this time of the month.
Whether or not it's acceptable for a woman to take time off work because of period pain is a bit of a dilemma for many women in the modern workforce. Of course, many of us have jobs that simply rule this option out - we just have to take the painkillers and get on with it. Depending on your work or family situation, it may be possible for you to put your feet up for the day, so if you can, and you need to - do it!