Endometriosis And Leg Pain: Is There A Connection?

Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects over 6.5 million women in the US alone – but no two people will experience the same symptoms or impact on their lives. You may have nothing more than mild discomfort or, conversely, deal with debilitating pain, excessive bleeding, vomiting, fatigue, and infertility

Over half of those with endometriosis also experience severe leg pain. Although this is often considered a secondary problem, it should not be overlooked: intense pain spreading through the buttock, leg, and foot can lead to mobility issues, reduced work performance, and disability, thus having a profound impact on your life. 

But what can make it worse is the fact that, often, leg pain related to endometriosis is misdiagnosed and poorly managed, leaving sufferers to experience the worst consequences of their condition. Fortunately, there is a lot that can be done without resorting to medications or surgery. 

The protocol pioneered by Neuragenex – Neurofunctional Pain Management – uses a range of whole-person, non-invasive, and non-drug approaches to treat the systemic inflammation at the root of this symptom

Beyond simply easing pain, Neurofunctional Pain Management can provide you with concrete tools to manage your condition and magnify your quality of life. Let’s explore what you need to know. 

Can Endometriosis Cause Leg Pain? 

A lot is yet to be understood about how endometriosis causes leg pain. However, research has started to highlight the mechanisms that link these two conditions. To better understand what happens in your body when you experience endometriosis-related leg pain, let’s start by taking a step back and uncovering the dynamics of endometriosis. 

The uterus, also called the womb, is the pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis responsible for certain sexual and reproductive functions, including menstruation, gestation, and labor. The uterus is lined with endometrial tissue, also known as endometrium, which grows and thickens during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle to prepare the womb for a fertilized egg.

During the early stages of pregnancy, the endometrium is responsible for providing the fertilized egg with the oxygen, nutrients, and protection needed to support fetal growth. However, if no egg is fertilized, the body sheds the endometrium through menstruation. During each menstrual cycle, new endometrium is formed and, if not needed, expelled through the vagina. 

Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue begins to grow outside of the uterus. These abnormal growths, known as endometrial implants, cause severe inflammation, cysts, scarring, and adhesions, which bind the organs in the pelvis together. 

Left unaddressed, these complications can prevent organs from functioning normally and even lead to infertility, a complication reported by 30-50% of women with endometriosis

The endometrial implants can start to spread across organs and tissues surrounding the uterus, including:

  • The exterior walls of the uterus
  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Bladder
  • Rectum
  • Cervix
  • The pelvic cavity
  • Vagina 
  • The nerves close to the uterus 

What causes endometriosis to progress and worsen over time is the fact that the endometrial implants outside of the uterus behave in the same way as the endometrium inside the uterus. 

Following the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, the endometrial implants continue to grow and thicken during each cycle – but, unlike the endometrium inside the uterus, they can’t easily leave the body. 

This process leads to the abnormal accumulation of endometrial tissue, which can cause trapped blood in the ovaries, blockages of the fallopian tubes, adhesions between organs, and scar tissue on reproductive organs. 

The most common symptoms of endometriosis include severe pain during menstruation and intercourse, nausea and vomiting, excessive bleeding, pelvic pain, and pain when urinating or passing stools. However, in some cases, it can also cause leg pain. 

This leg pain occurs when one or more of the nerves surrounding the uterus and other organs in the pelvis are inflamed, compressed, or damaged. When this happens, the transmission of motor and sensory signals to and from the brain is compromised. 

This can lead to pain, numbness, and paresthesia (tingling and “pins and needles” sensations). These symptoms can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Endometrial implants that grow on the nerves in the pelvis, such as the sciatic or obturator nerves, cause scarring and lesions. 
  • Inflammation that affects organs and tissues around the uterus can cause swelling, which may lead to surrounding nerves becoming entrapped or compressed
  • Inflammation affects blood vessels, which can impact blood circulation and cut off the supply of nutrients and oxygen to nerves, thus leading to the damage and death of nerve fibers
  • genetic factors can be a contributing cause of endometriosis, but there is no “endomometriosis gene.”

What Does Leg Pain From Endometriosis Feel Like? 

Leg pain is non-specific, which makes it difficult to diagnose properly. And it is even more challenging to determine with certainty whether this symptom arises from endometriosis. 

Nonetheless, understanding what leg pain from endometriosis feels like is important, so you can seek adequate diagnosis and avoid taking medications for days on end – medications that do very little aside from masking symptoms and causing side effects. 

Learning to identify when your symptoms are associated with endometriosis is even more crucial in light of the fact that around 90% of people experiencing the signs of this condition are disbelieved or dismissed by healthcare providers and loved ones alike. 

Let’s start by understanding that leg pain from endometriosis is often described as stabbing or throbbing, and its intensity increases during menstruation (when the endometrial implants grow and thicken). 

It can also feel different from the usual muscle cramping or soreness and can be associated with a pulling feeling in the leg, tingling sensations, numbness, or heaviness. The pain can be so severe as to prevent walking or physical activity and cause severe mobility issues for days each month. 

Other symptoms include:

Here are the symptoms you may experience when your leg pain is caused by endometriosis. 

Heaviness In The Legs

When the nerves around the uterus are damaged or compressed, they become less efficient in sending and receiving signals relating to sensations and movement. These same nerves also spread toward and connect the lower extremities, which can lead to abnormal sensations in the legs. 

Impaired sensory signals can lead to numbness, tingling, and “pins and needles” sensations, while damaged or compressed motor nerves will interfere with normal muscle movements. The combination of these two actions can result in feelings of heaviness in the legs, or a sensation that something is pulling or pushing the affected area. 

Pain Radiating From The Lower Back To The Foot

If you have noticed that pain radiates from your pelvis to the lower back, through the leg, and toward the foot, you may have what’s known as sciatic endometriosis. This condition occurs when the endometrial implants grow on, compress, or cause lesions to the sciatic nerve. 

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the human body, running from the lower back down the back of each leg. It controls the muscles of the back of the leg and provides sensation to parts of the leg and the foot. 

When this nerve becomes compressed or damaged, it can misfire, leading to sharp pain sensations that appear as sharp or stabbing. It can also lead to numbness, cramps, and spasms. 

Pain That Can Be Felt On One Or Both Sides

If the endometrial implants are affecting only the nerves on one side of the body, you are likely to experience pain in just one leg. This can be the case if the sciatic nerve is affected, or if the abnormal endometrial growths are affecting the obturator nerve, which controls the movement (adduction) of the thigh. 

However, studies have shown that nearly 60% of women with endometriosis-related leg pain experience painful sensations and numbness in both legs. 

This aspect is important in determining what’s causing your pain. For example, in people with leg pain caused by sciatica, the symptoms are commonly localized in one leg, as only one of the two sciatica nerves is usually affected. If both legs hurt at the time, the culprit may be endometrial growth.

Pain That Gets Worse With Menstruation

You’ll know if your leg pain is stemming from endometriosis if the discomfort intensifies with menstruation. With each menstrual cycle, the endometrial implants continue to grow and thicken, adding up to inflammation and lesions. 

During your menstruation, the body triggers a series of reactions to shed the unneeded endometrium, including cramping. These reactions can intensify the pain you experience, as well as the levels of inflammation caused by endometrial implants outside of the uterus. 

Where In Your Legs Does It Hurt?

Depending on what nerves are damaged or compressed by endometriosis, you may experience nerve pain in one or more locations in your lower extremities.

The nerves most commonly affected by endometriosis, due to their location, include:

  • The sciatic nerve, which provides innervation to some areas of the thigh, leg, and foot
  • The obturator nerve, which innervates the muscles of the thigh and is essential for movements such as adduction. If damaged, it can cause pain in the groin and inner thigh.
  • The femoral nerve, which starts near the groin and is the main nerve in the thigh
  • The pudendal nerve, which runs through the perineum and buttocks. It is responsible for innervating the genital area and, if affected, can cause pain in the vagina, urethra, and rectum. 

Common areas of pain include:

  • Outside of the legs. Pain in the outer part of the knees or the outer area of the lower leg and foot occurs when the branch of the sciatic nerve called the common peroneal nerve is affected. 
  • Back of thighs and calves. Pain in these areas occurs when the tibial and medial plantar nerves, which are branches of the sciatic nerves, are affected. 
  • Knees. Knee pain can occur when the tibial or common peroneal nerves are damaged. 

Home Remedies To Manage The Pain

Certain risk factors for leg pain related to endometriosis, such as height and age, are non-modifiable. However, other contributors, such as weight gain, stress levels, and lifestyle, can be modified through adequate interventions. 

Additionally, some self-care strategies, home remedies, and medications may help relieve your symptoms. However, since these therapies won’t help in treating endometriosis and can lead to side effects, it is always recommended that you consult a specialized healthcare professional.

Let’s look at what you can do to address your symptoms below. 

Heat Or Cold Packs 

Heat packs, such as heating pads and hot water bottles, can provide relief from pain by relaxing muscles, easing tensions, and reducing cramping. Alternatively, ice packs applied to your legs or buttocks can slow down the blood flow around the affected area, thus reducing inflammation, swelling, and stiffness. 

Consider trying out both strategies to find what works best for you. In either case, be sure to protect your skin from extreme heat or cold by wrapping the packs in a protective cloth. 

Yoga And Meditation

According to a 2022 study, mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, and mind-body activities like yoga may help relieve endometriosis pain. These activities provide beneficial effects by:

  • Relieving stress and muscle tensions, which may be contributing to cramping and heightened pain perception 
  • Gently stretching the muscles of the buttocks, thighs, calves, and feet, which can reduce the pressure on surrounding nerves
  • Releasing chemicals that induce a generalized sense of well-being, such as endorphins
  • Distracting the mind from the pain and stress. This is the case for certain practices, such as guided visualization or chanting. 

You may also consider working with a mental health professional to help you address the emotional and psychological effects of dealing with chronic pain. 

Massage

Massage therapies, as well as alternative therapies such as acupuncture, may help relieve pain by easing muscle tension, stimulating the circulation of blood around the affected area, and inducing sensations of relaxation and well-being. 

While massage therapy may help some patients with endometriosis, the outcomes can vary from one person to another and may not persist after a treatment is discontinued

Oral Medications

If self-care strategies and at-home remedies are not effective, certain oral medications can help. The most commonly prescribed therapies for endometriosis pain include:

  • NSAIDs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can help temporarily relieve pain and discomfort. However, these drugs don’t cure the disease and, when taken long-term, may expose you to side effects such as gastric ulcers, kidney problems, and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. 
  • Hormonal therapies. Hormonal therapies, such as hormonal birth control, may be used to reduce the production of the hormones that regulate ovulation and menstruation. This prevents the endometrial implants from thickening during your menstrual cycle and causing pain, but they can interfere with your plans of becoming pregnant. 
  • Nerve blocks. Nerve blocks are delivered in the form of injections, and they work by preventing nerves from misfiring and sending pain signals to the brain. They may have severe side effects, including elevated blood sugar, weight gain, soreness, and bleeding. 
  • Muscle relaxers. Muscle relaxers can reduce spasms and cramps and relieve the pressure on surrounding nerves. They can cause adverse effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nausea, and fatigue. 

Other options include vaginal valium, injections such as Botox, and anticonvulsants. Laparoscopic surgery to remove portions of the abnormal endometrial tissue may be recommended if other treatments have not worked or if the leg pain is interfering with your daily life. 

Topical Treatments 

Topical ointments, such as tiger balm, and pain-relieving creams, like topical ibuprofen, can help you manage leg soreness and pain, especially when it is localized to a certain area. Other commonly used topical medications include lidocaine, Icy Hot, and Voltaren.

When placed or rubbed on the painful and inflamed areas, topical treatments can temporarily reduce inflammation and pain. In the case of an irritated sciatic nerve, placing these medications on your lower back (which is where the sciatic nerve stems from), can provide an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the nerve and its branches. 

When To See A Doctor

With endometriosis, the pain you experience isn’t always related to the severity of your condition. You may have extensive endometrial implants and no pain – vice-versa, even mild endometrial growths can cause intense discomfort. Because of this, it is crucial to speak to a doctor immediately as soon as you notice any symptom that may relate to endometriosis. 

In particular, you should seek medical care if:

  • The leg pain develops suddenly and becomes severe
  • At-home remedies are ineffective and your pain is getting worse
  • The leg pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as excessive bleeding, blood in the urine, and pelvic pain
  • The pain has started to interfere with your daily life and mental health 

It is important to keep in mind that if the endometrial implants have started to damage or irritate nerves, they can lead to permanent lesions and damage. This can cause you to develop severe or chronic neuropathy (nerve pain), which can persist even after treatments have removed the abnormal endometrial growths. Studies report that around half of people with endometriosis show signs of neuropathic pain and nerve damage.

Diagnosing Endometriosis-Related Leg Pain

Leg pain from endometriosis remains incredibly challenging to diagnose, especially when no other symptoms are present. However, if you suspect that you have endometriosis, your doctor may carry out a series of diagnostic tests to rule out other possible causes of leg pain, such as sciatica, peripheral artery disease, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Some diagnostic tools your doctor may use include:

  • A review of your medical history 
  • A survey regarding your symptoms and their nature, intensity, and location (e.g. if the leg pain intensifies during menstruation)
  • A thorough physical examination
  • A pelvic exam
  • Imaging and ultrasound tests, such as CT scans, MRI scans, or transvaginal ultrasounds (these are recommended if a pelvic exam points to endometriosis as the source of leg pain)
  • Surgeries such as laparoscopy, which allow the surgeon to view and remove endometrial implants

Certain tests for neuropathy, such as skin biopsies, nerve conduction tests, and electromyograms may also be used. These tests aim to determine the number of nerve fibers under the skin, as well as their capability to send and receive signals. Neurological tests may also be prescribed. 

Find Relief From Your Monthly Lower Body Pain

If you have endometriosis, you may be suffering from severe pain, discomfort, and disability for several days each month. And, over time, pain medications may become ineffective in helping you manage your symptoms, while also causing side effects. 

However, a diagnosis of endometriosis does not have to be condemnation to living with severe pain or enduring inadequate treatments. Through Neurofunctional Pain Management, you can address the inflammation at the root of endometriosis-related leg pain and magnify your quality of life without medications or surgery

 

Is Endometriosis Hereditary

It is estimated that 10% of women of reproductive age worldwide are currently affected by endometriosis. Endometriosis is a complex medical condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, causing pain, discomfort, and sometimes fertility issues. 

One common concern that comes up for many women seeking to manage their endometriosis is whether there is a genetic component to this condition. Symptoms and causes of endometriosis can vary from person to person. 

To better understand your own experiences and susceptibility to endometriosis, it can be helpful to explore the complex genetic factors involved in its development through polygenic inheritance.

This article will provide valuable insights by expanding on the genetic variables that contribute to endometriosis and the complex interplay of genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle factors in the development of this condition. We hope that this information will help you understand more about the potential risk factors for developing endometriosis. 

Our goal is to empower you to take your symptoms and reproductive health seriously, encouraging you to seek an accurate diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. 

Let’s start by defining endometriosis and discussing what internal processes result in its variety of uncomfortable and concerning symptoms.

 

Understanding Endometriosis

Before we dive into the topic of genetics and endometriosis, let’s first gain a basic understanding of what this condition involves.

Endometriosis is a medical disorder where tissue resembling the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus and into the pelvic cavity. This tissue, often called endometrial implants, can affect the reproductive system by developing on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the pelvic lining. In more severe cases, the rogue endometrial tissue can even extend to areas around the bladder, bowel, or other vital organs in the lower abdomen.

Endometrial implants can lead to a range of symptoms, including severe pelvic pain, painful menstrual periods, painful intercourse, and, sometimes, fertility issues. In severe cases where other abdominal organs are impacted, symptoms can vary from pain with urination to urinary retention and gastrointestinal upset. 

While the actual cause of endometriosis is still being researched, let’s look at some of the existing evidence in the next section.

 

What Causes Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is believed to be a multifactorial condition, meaning that multiple factors contribute to its development. This means that while genetic factors play a role, the growth of endometrial implants is not solely determined by one’s genes. 

Currently, it is believed that a combination of environmental factors, such as lifestyle, exposure to certain toxins, or hormonal fluctuations, also play a vital role in influencing the risk of developing endometriosis.

In saying this, the genetic components are intriguing and can be of great importance. Gene variation, expression, and regulation can contribute to the overall genetic impact on an individual’s susceptibility to endometriosis. It’s crucial to remember, though, that endometriosis will not always occur even if there is a hereditary predisposition.

Before we go deeper into the impact of a family history of endometriosis and its connection to susceptibility, let’s explain how medical conditions can have genetic components in the first place.

 

Is Endometriosis Hereditary?

When discussing the concepts of genetic endometriosis, it’s useful to have a basic understanding of what medical heredity is. You might be surprised to learn that many medical conditions have a genetic component, meaning that they can run in families due to shared genetic factors. 

These hereditary conditions are often a result of complex inheritance patterns, where multiple genes interact with each other as well as with the individual’s exposed environmental factors.

Endometriosis falls into this category of complex genetic interactions. It is currently believed to be inherited in a polygenic/multifactorial way. This means that multiple genes are involved in determining an individual’s susceptibility to the condition and how severe it may be.

How Polygenic Inheritance Works

So, if endometriosis is a known polygenic inheritance disorder, meaning it involves multiple genes, what genes, exactly, are responsible? While the specific genes are a subject of ongoing research, there is no known “endometriosis gene.” 

It is, however, known that the genes suspected to be involved impact various aspects of the condition. These genes have many roles, including regulating hormonal balance, maintaining normal cell structure and cycle, and influencing the immune system’s response to inflammation.

It is important to understand that genes work together in intricate ways, and the specific combinations of these genetic variations can vary from person to person. These differences in genetic variations lead to endometriosis presenting uniquely in each individual. It’s important to note again that genetic predisposition alone is not the sole cause of the condition.

How Genes Work Together In Complex Genetic Interactions

We have explored how genes are involved in endometriosis development. However, it is vital to recognize that the complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors can also contribute to the formation of endometrial implants.

Environmental factors can include hormonal fluctuations, exposure to toxins, and lifestyle choices. Simply put, a woman with a genetic predisposition to endometriosis may still not develop the condition if her hormonal balance and immune system responses are not influenced by environmental factors that trigger the condition.

This emphasizes just how complex endometriosis is and how important it is to consider both genetic and environmental factors when discussing how it develops. Researchers continue to study these complex interactions to gain a better understanding of how endometriosis arises and how it can be effectively managed.

Now we have a better understanding of what a hereditary condition is and how it presents in endometriosis, let’s shift our focus and look at some important things to consider for women with a family history of the condition.

 

Implications For Women With A Family History Of Endometriosis

If you or someone you know has a family history of endometriosis, there are a number of implications to consider. Having a sound understanding of your family’s medical history can provide valuable insights into your own potential risks. 

If there are close relatives, such as your mother, sisters, or aunts, who have had endometriosis, your risk of developing the condition may be higher. As a result, women who have a family history of endometriosis should be very watchful for any indications or symptoms of the disease and seek medical assistance when necessary. 

Seeking medical advice for early detection of endometriosis can be helpful in the successful management of the condition at an earlier stage, potentially preventing the onset of deteriorating symptoms.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how you can reduce your chances of endometrial implants developing. Let’s go on to explore prevention in the following section. 

 

Can You Prevent Endometriosis?

Unfortunately, there is no surefire method to prevent endometriosis. However, being informed and proactive about your reproductive health can make a significant difference. 

If you have a family history of endometriosis or are concerned about your risk, consider the following steps:

  • Seek medical advice: If you have a family history of endometriosis and experience symptoms like pelvic pain, painful periods, or fertility issues, consult a healthcare professional for advice. They can conduct the necessary evaluations and diagnostic tests to determine if endometriosis is the cause of your symptoms.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: While there is no guaranteed way to prevent endometriosis, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can potentially reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with endometriosis. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and manage stress to support your overall well-being.

 

How Experts Diagnose Endometriosis

Diagnosing endometriosis requires a comprehensive approach to make sure that all relevant factors are taken into account. Using the following diagnostic techniques, your healthcare providers—including your general practitioner and specialist gynecologist—can further evaluate your concerns: 

  • History and physical examination: The first step in diagnosing endometriosis often involves discussing your medical history and the symptoms you’re experiencing. Your healthcare provider may also perform a physical examination to check for any observable abnormalities.
  • Pelvic exam: During a pelvic exam, your gynecologist may check for detectible abnormalities such as cysts, growths, or scar tissue. While this can raise suspicion of endometriosis, it cannot provide a definitive diagnosis.
  • Imaging tests: Ultrasound or MRI scans may be used to visualize the reproductive organs and detect any abnormalities like ovarian cysts or endometrial implants.
  • Blood testing: Blood tests may be conducted to check for elevated levels of certain markers associated with endometriosis.
  • Hormone testing: Endocrinology tests may be used to assess fluctuations of hormone levels that may influence endometriosis.
  • Laparoscopy: The most reliable method for diagnosing endometriosis is through laparoscopy. This surgical procedure allows the gynecologist to directly inspect and confirm the presence of endometriotic tissue

Endometriosis can often be diagnosed by one or more of the techniques listed above, and a treatment and management plan is then determined by the condition’s severity. In the next section, we’ll review some of the conventional treatment methods.

 

Can Endometriosis Be Treated?

Yes, endometriosis can be treated. If endometriosis is diagnosed, the primary goal of treatment is to control symptoms and delay the course of the condition. The choice of treatment depends on several factors, including the severity of symptoms, age at diagnosis, goals of family planning, and overall health.

In some cases, treatment options include pain management and hormone therapy, usually through contraceptives. In more severe cases or cases that are at risk of impeding other organs or fertility, there are surgical interventions available that aim to remove the invasive endometrial implants. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation.

Read more about endometriosis treatment options and how Neurofunctional Pain Management techniques offer a whole-person, non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical approach to pain relief, including pain associated with endometriosis. Our protocols focus on individualized care, addressing not only the physical aspects of pain but also the emotional and psychological aspects.

 

Get Properly Diagnosed For Endometriosis To Ensure An Effective Treatment Plan

If you suspect you may have endometriosis or have a family history of the condition, seeking a proper diagnosis is essential to receive an effective treatment plan. Early diagnosis and intervention can help manage uncomfortable symptoms and potentially improve your quality of life.

Remember, while genetics play a role in the development of endometriosis, it’s not the sole determining factor. The condition is influenced by complex interactions between genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Having a family history of endometriosis can increase your risk, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll develop the condition. 

The most crucial step is to seek medical advice if you suspect you have endometriosis or are experiencing any concerning symptoms. Early diagnosis and the right treatment plan can make a significant difference in managing this condition and improving your overall well-being.

If you or a loved one is dealing with endometriosis or chronic pain, consider exploring Neuragenex’s Neurofunctional Pain Management techniques. You’re not alone on this journey, and there are effective ways to manage the challenges that endometriosis can bring.

Understanding What Causes Endometriosis

Endometriosis is an increasingly prevalent condition that affects approximately one in ten women of reproductive age. This painful condition can become debilitating and goes beyond just the physical discomfort; it can also have profound emotional and psychological effects. If you or someone you care for suffers from this complex condition, you probably have questions about what it is and how it develops. 

In this comprehensive article, we share valuable insights into the complex and multifaceted nature of endometriosis. We’ll explain what endometriosis is, shed light on what it can feel like, and explore the various factors that play a role in its development. 

By gaining a deeper understanding of its intricate workings, you can learn more about your individual experiences with endometriosis. This knowledge will guide you toward an accurate diagnosis and a personalized management plan tailored to your needs.

Additionally, we will explore how Neurofunctional Pain Management is revolutionizing how we address endometriosis-related pain, offering hope for those seeking practical, long-lasting relief. 

Firstly, let’s discuss the definition of endometriosis and some of the painful symptoms that impact the lives of the women it affects.

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a complex and painful condition that occurs when the lining of the uterus (endometrial tissue) begins to grow outside the uterus. This tissue can infiltrate the structures and organs of the pelvic cavity, causing pain and inflammation, as well as potentially affecting fertility. Endometriosis causes highly individual experiences because it has many types and stages.

What Does Endometriosis Pain Feel Like?

Endometriosis is a unique condition that affects women in many ways; for example, some women may experience no symptoms, whereas the journey is marked by persistent challenges for others.

Symptoms of endometriosis include chronic pain, excruciating periods, heavy bleeding, discomfort during intercourse, altered bowel movements, digestive troubles, and fertility issues. The pain is often described as a sharp abdominal sensation, typically amplified with enduring period cramps. These feelings may ebb and flow in intensity, fluctuating with the hormonal cycle. 

Additionally, the associated symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety can be commonly overlooked or considered a separate problem. However, these symptoms are highly prevalent in people living with endometriosis and are thought to be due to the inflammatory nature of this condition. 

Now that we understand the nature of endometriosis, let’s focus on exploring some of the common causes and influencing factors that lead to its development.

Eight Common Causes Of Endometriosis

Due to its complexity, the exact cause of endometriosis is still unknown. However, researchers have identified several potential contributing factors linked to its development. In the following sections, we will explore these causes and their implications for those affected by this distressing condition.

1. Genetic Predisposition

Genetics is seen to play a crucial role in the development of endometriosis, although it is still not yet completely understood. Here are the three critical genetic factors currently being explored by experts. 

Familial Links And Hereditary Factors

It is well-established knowledge that familial links and hereditary factors significantly influence the risk of developing endometriosis. This means if you have a first-degree relative who has faced this condition, such as your mother, aunt, or sister, your risk of developing it is notably elevated. This also extends to instances of difficulties in fertility within the family, which again suggest a shared genetic vulnerability. However, it is important to note while hereditary factors are underscored as a significant influence, it doesn’t guarantee that you will develop endometriosis. 

Genetic Studies And Identified Susceptibility Genes

There has been an ongoing exploration into the identified genes that increase endometriosis susceptibility. Although there is no specifically identified “endometriosis gene”, there have been certain genes pinpointed that appear to contribute to an increased risk of developing this condition. 

 

It has been identified that any gene variation that influences the body’s response to hormonal changes, particularly estrogen, has been linked to individuals with endometriosis. This knowledge provides insights into potentially identifiable genetic markers predisposing certain women to develop the condition. However, much like hereditary genes, there are many other factors to consider, and having a gene variation alone does not guarantee the onset of endometriosis.

Epigenetics’ Role In Endometriosis Development

Epigenetics is the study of how genes work or “express” in our bodies. Many factors, such as environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and hormonal influences, can change how a certain gene expresses and functions. These changes can affect how the body reacts to things like hormonal shifts, inflammation, and tissue growth, which are important in endometriosis pathophysiology. 

While epigenetic research is still in its early stages, it is promising to see a deeper understanding of how our genes and the world around us play a part in causing conditions like endometriosis.

2. Hormonal Influences 

The two sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, play an intricate role in a woman’s reproductive health. The normal hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle are delicately balanced and, if altered, can fuel the growth of endometrial tissue outside the confines of the uterus. Below are some of the most critical hormonal influences on endometriosis. 

Estrogen Dominance And Its Effects

One of the fascinating things about endometriosis is that it is known to be dependent on estrogen. If estrogen becomes dominant, outweighing the normal balance, it can significantly contribute to the development and persistence of this condition. When left untreated, elevated estrogen levels trigger inflammation and growth of abnormal endometrial tissue remodeling, exacerbating the painful symptoms of this condition and contributing to its chronic nature.

The Role Of Progesterone In Endometriosis Development

Levels of progesterone increase following ovulation, which helps promote healthy pregnancies and regulate the menstrual cycle. Elevated progesterone levels will balance and prevent overly high estrogen levels and, consequently, the excess growth of endometriosis. This highlights the delicate balance of these two hormones, where low levels of progesterone and increased estrogen levels are thought to play a role in endometriosis simultaneously.

With this in mind, most hormonal treatments for endometriosis revolve around restoring balance with increasing levels of progesterone. However, this is not always effective, and in some cases, the endometriosis growth will persist or even worsen. In this case, it is suggested that endometrial tissue has become resistant to progesterone as a hormone, both naturally occurring and conventional treatments. 

3. Retrograde Menstruation

Retrograde menstruation is a well-established concept of endometriosis development. To be in retrograde is to move backward, and in retrograde menstruation, there is a backward flow of menstrual blood through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of down and out through the cervix. This process explains how endometrial cells can exit the uterus and go on to implant and grow within the pelvic cavity. 

4. Immune System Disorders

Endometriosis is becoming increasingly explored in the context of autoimmune disease. Although there is limited research, the literature indicates that when specific immune cells malfunction, particularly natural killer (NK) cells, it may contribute to abnormal endometrial tissue growth. These NK cells typically combat viruses and tumors but have been seen to be compromised in people with endometriosis. It’s suggested that when an immune system disorder hinders the body’s defenses, abnormal endometrial tissue can thrive in places beyond the uterus, complicating endometriosis further.

5. Surgical Scar Implantation

Another way that endometrial tissue can develop is by direct transplantation of endometrial cells to organs and tissues outside the uterus, like the abdominal walls. Surgical scar implantation can occur during surgeries such as Cesarean delivery or a hysterectomy. During these procedures, endometrial cells can spread through the pelvis and transfer to surrounding organs, the abdominal wall, or within the surgical incision.

6. Embryonic Cell Transformation

Puberty is a transformative and body-altering phase where estrogen levels surge to prepare for the first menstrual cycle, and it often coincides with the onset of endometriosis. 

Embryonic cell transformation hypothesizes that embryonic stem cells within the abdomen convert into endometrial tissue outside the uterus due to elevated estrogen during puberty. Embryonic cells are wonderfully versatile stem cells that can divide or take on various cell roles during the earliest stages of the human body’s development.

This idea is based on the notion that most abdominal cells and tissues originated from embryonic cells. This intricate process underscores the potential link between embryonic cell transformation and the development of endometriosis.

7. Environmental And Lifestyle Factors

Several environmental and lifestyle factors can have a significant effect on the development of endometriosis. These factors interact with the body’s intricate systems, potentially shaping the course of this complex condition.

Impact Of Environmental Toxins And Pollutants

Being exposed to environmental toxins and pollutants is always considered unsuitable for our overall health and well-being, and it also causes a noteworthy concern when it comes to endometriosis. Suppose you are exposed to elevated levels of these harmful agents throughout your everyday life. In that case, this exposure can contribute to increased levels of inflammation throughout the body and, consequently, the progression of endometriosis. 

Dietary Factors And Endometriosis Risk

It’s evident that our dietary choices can significantly impact many aspects of our health, particularly the development of chronic disease. Processed foods have long been thought to contribute to chronic illness, including endometriosis, as they increase inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or enhance the growth of endometriosis. 

Additionally, emerging evidence has suggested a potential link between high consumption of red meat as a possible contributor to an increased risk of endometriosis. This could be because red meat may increase the levels of naturally occurring estrogen throughout the body. Further investigation is required to better understand how different foods might be connected to causing endometriosis.

8. Reproductive Health History

There are many significant milestones in a woman’s reproductive health history. Let’s unpack some of them and discuss how they can shape the future risk of endometriosis development. 

Impact Of Early Age Menstruation

Endometriosis can develop any time from your first period until the final stages of menopause. It is suggested that getting your period at a younger age can be a potential risk factor for endometriosis developing as it may lead to longer exposure to hormonal changes. It is important to make a note of any changes to your menstruation so proactive steps can be taken to manage your reproductive health and risk of endometriosis development.

Pregnancy History And Endometriosis Risk

Your reproductive history includes your pregnancy history, and important factors like the number of pregnancies, delivery method, timing, and associated complications can give insights into the increased risk of endometriosis developing. It’s important to remember the whole pregnancy journey can impact the development of this condition, as well as potentially modify its trajectory.

Role Of Childbirth And Breastfeeding In Endometriosis Prevention

Breastfeeding is known to have many positive benefits for both mother and child, and it could even impact the progression of endometriosis. Studies have recently shown that childbirth and an extended duration of breastfeeding can decrease the risk of developing endometriosis and significantly reduce the symptoms. It has been recommended that women be encouraged to breastfeed straight after childbirth and continue for a long duration for positive benefits for those living with endometriosis. 

How Is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

It can be challenging to get an official diagnosis of endometriosis, which leads to delays in timely treatment and increases the risk of complications. A comprehensive approach to diagnosing this complex condition is necessary to ensure all factors are considered. 

Your healthcare provider, typically a gynecologist, will ask questions regarding your medical and reproductive history, as well as your specific symptoms. They will also conduct a physical examination of the abdomen, exploring the areas of tenderness that may indicate endometriosis. 

Additionally, scans such as an ultrasound or MRI may be recommended for a more thorough approach to viewing the surrounding pelvic structures for endometrial growth. These scans give a much more detailed review of the severity of endometriosis.

Furthermore, a surgical laparoscopy may be required, which enables your doctor to explore the pelvis and identify endometrial growth and allow for any targeted removal or tissue sampling that may be required.

Once endometriosis is determined, the initial focus is on managing the distressing symptoms. In the next section, we will explore an innovative approach for addressing endometriosis that doesn’t rely on medications or invasive surgeries. 

How We Approach Endometriosis Pain

When it comes to treatments for endometriosis, it’s essential to consider all approaches so you can be sure you’re making informed decisions that are right for you. The innovative techniques of Neurofunctional Pain Management (NFPM) aim to provide effective relief and enhance the overall well-being of individuals with endometriosis. Various therapies incorporated into the Nueragenex protocol of NFPM can help alleviate pain and manage symptoms, focusing on individualized care. These non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical methods include: 

Electroanalgesia

Electroanalgesia therapy involves the application of specialized electrical currents that can disrupt pain signals and provide effective pain relief. This therapy targets the nerve pathways that signal pain to the brain, reducing pain perception and improving comfort for individuals with endometriosis and its debilitating symptoms. Electroanalgesia offers a non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical option tailored to your specific needs.

IV Therapy

Intravenous (IV) therapy is another aspect of Neurofunctional Pain Management. It involves administering essential nutrients, vitamins, and amino acids directly into the bloodstream, which can be highly beneficial for patients with chronic pain. By addressing deficiencies, IV therapy promotes optimal organ and immune function, ultimately leading to better health outcomes and overall well-being. This therapy is pre-prepared for your individual requirements based on your blood tests. 

Lifestyle Counseling

Neurofunctional Pain Management techniques go beyond treating physical pain. We believe there can be a positive impact on the symptoms of chronic illnesses, including endometriosis, through the adoption of certain lifestyle factors. With the support and guidance of lifestyle counseling, you can integrate these into your daily routine. These elements play an important role in maintaining effective and enduring pain management strategies and contributing to long-term relief.

The three NFPM therapies of electroanalgesia, IV therapy, and lifestyle counseling offer a comprehensive and holistic approach to managing endometriosis-related pain. This patient-centered approach seeks to improve quality of life and empower individuals to take an active role in their pain management journey.

The Neuragenex Protocol For Endometriosis Pain

Endometriosis is a complex condition with a range of potential causes that can individually contribute to developing this challenging condition. The exact trigger may vary, and understanding its possible causes can lead you toward finding the right treatments and pain management solutions. 

At Neuragenex, we offer innovative and tailored solutions to help manage endometriosis-related pain and provide lasting relief. Our Neurofunctional Pain Management techniques offer a whole-person approach that addresses the root causes of pain, supports your overall well-being, and empowers you to regain control of your life. 

Defining the Different Endometriosis Stages

Did you know that endometriosis is a condition that affects around 11% of American women between the ages of 15-44? This complex medical condition involves the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus lining, which leads to distressing symptoms for those affected.

Endometriosis is a varied condition that develops through stages, with each stage presenting distinct characteristics and challenges. These stages range from minimal (Stage 1) to severe (Stage 4), based on the extent of invasive endometrial tissue growth.

In this article, we will discuss the complexities of endometriosis, its diverse forms, and the stages through which it can progress. By gaining a deeper understanding of these concepts, an effective management strategy can be tailored to your individual needs for lasting relief from endometriosis-related pain. 

We’ll explore the conventional treatment options typically prescribed, encompassing pharmaceuticals, hormonal control medications, and surgical interventions. Furthermore, we’ll introduce Neuragenex’s innovative Neurofunctional Pain Management techniques, which can help women struggling with endometriosis find relief across all forms and stages without requiring drugs or surgery.

Our goal is to provide you with helpful insights so you can better understand your symptoms and know how to choose the treatment options right for you and your lifestyle. Let’s start with defining the different types of endometriosis. 

Types Of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a multifaceted condition that evolves not only in stages but also in diverse forms. Exploring these forms highlights the condition’s intricate nature that can display varying symptoms and impact each person uniquely. Here are the most prevalent types of endometriosis, each with its distinct characteristics and implications:

Peritoneal Endometriosis

Peritoneal endometriosis is the most frequently encountered, where the abnormal endometrial tissue begins to invade the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal wall. This type of endometriosis causes inflammation and adhesions throughout the thin peritoneal membrane, leading to chronic pelvic pain, painful intercourse, as well as intensified menstrual cramping and bleeding. 

Abdominal Endometriosis

Abdominal endometriosis describes cases where the invasive endometrial tissue begins to grow outside of the peritoneal cavity and through the abdominal wall. This can occur of its own accord, or it can develop due to surgeries like hysterectomies or C-sections, where the endometrial cells adhere to the incision sites. This type of endometriosis leads to symptoms of abdominal tenderness, a notable lump or mass across the affected area, and significant pelvic pain, especially during menstruation.

Ovarian Endometriomas

Ovarian endometriomas, also known as chocolate cysts, get their name from the presence of distinctively dark fluid-filled cysts that form on the surface of the ovaries. In more severe cases, they may invade deep within the ovarian tissue. These cysts can cause significant pelvic pain as well as hinder ovarian function, potentially impacting fertility. It is believed that ovarian endometriomas can lead to endometriosis spreading further into the abdomen. Additionally, although it is rare, these cysts may increase the risk of ovarian cancer development. 

Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis

Deep infiltrating endometriosis describes the abnormal growth of tissue that invades abdominal organs near the uterus, such as the bowel and bladder. This intrusive tissue can be found deep within the layers of the affected organs, leading to severe, persistent pain, bowel and urinary symptoms, and ongoing challenges with fertility and menstrual cycle regularity.

Diffuse Endometriosis

When invasive endometrial tissue begins to spread across a number of organs, it is described as diffuse endometriosis. This indicates a highly advanced stage of the condition, which can cause a multitude of uncomfortable symptoms, such as chronic pain that is difficult to manage, fertility challenges, hormonal imbalances, and a heightened inflammatory response within the body.

These are among the primary types of endometriosis. However, it is important to acknowledge that many other variations exist, all causing impactful symptoms with individual experiences. Let’s now discuss how endometriosis originates before we explore its distinct stages. 

How Does Endometriosis Develop?

Having a deep understanding of how endometriosis develops helps us to comprehend the complexity of its uncomfortable symptoms. As we now know, endometriosis occurs when there is an abnormal growth of endometrial tissue (uterine lining) outside of the uterus, where it begins to infiltrate various abdominal organs and structures. But what exactly causes the pain?

Endometriosis, whether minimal or severe, triggers pain due to the tissue’s normal response to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle. The tissue will inflame, shed, and bleed, just as it would if it were still in the uterus. However, when this happens outside of its natural environment, it causes inflammation, scarring, cysts lesions, and adhesions to its surrounding tissues and structures. This entire process gives rise to the distressing symptoms of endometriosis, such as severe cramps, heavy periods, digestive issues, infertility and other fertility challenges, and pain during or after intercourse.

It is evident that endometriosis can have a profound impact on a sufferer’s quality of life. 

Why Some Cases Are More Severe Than Others

The characteristics of endometriosis will vary among individuals, and its severity depends on factors such as the extent and depth of infiltration, its location, hormonal influences, and individual responses. 

Furthermore, while an increase in symptom severity doesn’t always indicate advanced endometriosis, it does increase the likelihood of worsening or additional symptoms if there is deeper tissue infiltration, especially involving organs like the bowel, bladder, or ovaries. Individual factors such as age and hormonal fluctuations can also increase the severity of symptoms.

Does It Get Better Or Worse Over Time?

If endometriosis is left untreated, there is an increased risk that it will progressively worsen. This can lead to further or deeper tissue infiltration and scar tissue formation caused by inflammation and damage to surrounding tissues. Over time, this can result in the gradual worsening of symptoms. 

Receiving early intervention and effective symptom management for endometriosis can reduce the risk of worsening discomfort and potentially improve the overall progression of the condition. Exploring appropriate treatments can offer individuals strategies to prevent symptoms from progressing and increase quality of life.

Recognizing the wide spectrum of disease progression, symptoms, and individual experiences, it’s crucial to acknowledge all of the potential challenges and intricacies associated with this condition. Now that we have a solid understanding of how it develops and its impact, we will explain the different stages and classifications of endometriosis. 

The Different Stages Of Endometriosis

Exploring how endometriosis is classified can help you better understand your condition’s severity. Here we’ll explain the stages and distinct characteristics of endometriosis at each stage. Although endometriosis has no cure, we will explore the conventional treatments currently recommended to manage the painful symptoms and potentially prevent the condition from worsening. 

Stage 1: Minimal Endometriosis

A Stage 1 classification of endometriosis indicates a mild case that shows minimal signs of endometrial tissue growth outside of the uterus. The peritoneum may show signs of infiltration with small endometrial implants, wounds, or lesions. It’s possible that in minimal endometriosis there are signs of the abdominal or pelvic tissue being affected with very little or no scar tissue.

Symptoms

Symptoms are typically mild, though they can still cause concern. They may include pelvic discomfort or a minor increase in pain during menstruation or intercourse.

Recommended Treatment Options

At this stage of endometriosis, it is usually recommended that you observe symptoms and schedule regular check-ins with your healthcare provider. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or naproxen may be recommended to help provide short-term relief from discomfort.

Stage 2: Mild Endometriosis

Stage 2 entails more extensive abnormal tissue growth compared to minimal endometriosis. At this stage, the endometriosis is more established, with deeper implants, and there may be scar tissue present. It is likely that the ovaries have become affected, causing painful chocolate cysts. 

Symptoms

Pain may become more intense than seen at Stage 1. It can begin impacting daily life and potentially causing discomfort during bowel movements and urination. Additionally, if the ovaries have become infiltrated, there may be fertility complications. 

Recommended Treatment Options

Depending on your symptoms, a doctor may recommend hormonal medications alongside over-the-counter medications. These include birth control pills that minimize or completely stop your menstrual cycle, which reduces bleeding, inflammation, and painful cramping. Additionally, complementary therapies such as acupuncture and pelvic floor physiotherapy, and complementary medicines may be recommended to relieve painful symptoms and support hormonal health. 

Stage 3: Moderate Endometriosis

A classification of Stage 3, or moderate endometriosis, is given when there are multiple deep tissue infiltrations. One or more pelvic organs may be affected, such as the fallopian tubes, uterus, bladder, and bowel, causing cysts and scar tissue to develop. 

Symptoms 

Symptoms are more pronounced and are likely to become persistent, including severe (chronic) pelvic pain, dysfunction of the affected organs, decreased ovarian function, and potential fertility complications. 

Recommended Treatment Options

Alongside the previously mentioned treatments, for Stage 3 endometriosis, hormonal birth control via an intrauterine device (IUD) may be recommended as a more convenient approach. It can help manage hormonal fluctuations, as well as the pain and bleeding associated with menstrual cycles. However, it is important to note that this option is not a long-lasting solution for severe endometriosis-related pain. 

Stage 4: Severe Endometriosis

This is the most advanced and severe stage of endometriosis. Stage 4 involves widespread tissue growth with numerous deep implants that have caused dense scar tissue. Large cysts can be seen on the ovaries, along with many significant adhesions across the pelvic organs. 

Symptoms

Symptoms can be severe and debilitating, affecting an individual’s overall health and well-being. Scar tissues and adhesions can cause chronic pain and have implications on fertility. There may be instances where severe abdominal complications occur, such as a “frozen pelvis”, where multiple organs become fused together due to adhesions. 

Recommended Treatment Options

For Stage 4 endometriosis, treatments revolve around improving quality of life, preventing further organ dysfunction, and enhancing fertility. Surgical laparoscopy is usually necessary to remove extensive tissue growth, cysts, and adhesions. In some cases, a specialist may recommend drainage of cysts to alleviate symptoms and improve ovarian function. 

By gaining these insights into the different stages of endometriosis and the available treatment options, you can make more informed decisions about managing your condition and seeking appropriate care that suits your individual needs.

How Do I Know Which Stage I Am In?

Pain is an individual experience, and it’s important to note that the severity of your symptoms is not directly linked to what stage you are in. Someone experiencing severe pain and discomfort may have endometriosis at Stages 1 or 2, and conversely, someone with more advanced endometriosis may show milder symptoms.

To accurately diagnose endometriosis, a surgical laparoscopy is required to visually assess the extent of endometrial tissue growth. This surgical procedure allows for a more comprehensive evaluation, which can include the removal of cysts or adhesions if found. For a laparoscopy to be performed, general anesthesia is required, which involves potential risks associated with the use of anesthesia medications and the risks of the surgical procedure itself.

Finding An Effective Pain Management Solution For Endometriosis With Neuragenex

For women struggling with the persistent pain of endometriosis, discovering enduring relief and finding an improvement in quality of life are big priorities. At Neuragenex, we are dedicated to offering pain management solutions that go beyond pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures, using the fundamentals of Neurofunctional Pain Management (NFPM). Our protocol encompasses a whole-person-centered approach that utilizes the following fundamental modalities of NFPM:

Electroanalgesia

Electroanalgesia is a non-invasive therapy that involves high-pulse electrical stimulation, targeting the intricate connections between pain, the nervous system, and the brain. Pain signals are intercepted at the nerve’s source, providing cellular-level pain relief. By diminishing pain-stimulating signals, electroanalgesia interrupts the cycle of inflammation that leads to pain, ultimately reducing overall levels of inflammation. Most importantly, lasting relief can be achieved as this therapy eliminates pain, triggers the natural release of endorphins, and promotes overall comfort.

IV Therapy 

Specialized hydration intravenous therapy (IV therapy) is another essential component of our approach. This therapy restores essential nutrients and electrolytes directly through the bloodstream. This targeted approach can create a supportive environment for the body to heal, promoting optimal organ function and reducing inflammation. IV therapy is tailored to your individual needs, addressing specific deficiencies that lead to the reduction of symptoms associated with endometriosis.

Lifestyle Counseling

At Neuragenex, we foster an approach to pain management that encompasses the whole person. We understand that pain goes beyond physical sensations and interventions, where it also incorporates aspects of your mental health and overall sense of well-being. Our comprehensive lifestyle counseling is a program that educates and supports patients to make informed decisions that enhance their quality of life. We help you embrace lifestyle changes that lead to sustained improvements in your comfort and reduction of endometriosis symptoms. 

The Neuragenex protocol combining electroanalgesia, IV therapy, and lifestyle counseling is an innovative approach that helps patients find relief from endometriosis pain and restores their overall health. Our goal is to improve your overall quality of life, providing you with enduring relief from the challenges and discomforts that come with endometriosis. 

Early Awareness Is The Key To Effective Treatment

When it comes to endometriosis, having an understanding of the stages, forms, and complexities of this condition is crucial. Although painful symptoms are individual, they should not be ignored, and recognizing their potential causes is the first step toward achieving relief. 

By addressing symptoms promptly and seeking professional guidance, you can find solutions that better manage the painful symptoms of endometriosis. Through exploring innovative approaches like Neurofunctional Pain Management, you can find long-lasting relief and improve your overall quality of life. 

Remember, the path to lasting relief begins with early awareness, understanding your condition, and taking proactive steps. Neuragenex is here to support you every step of the way, offering personalized strategies and compassionate care to help you regain control of your well-being and embrace a life free from the constraints of endometriosis-related pain.

How To Get An Accurate Endometriosis Diagnosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue or lining of the uterus grows outside of it. It usually occurs in other organs, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, and bladder. It can cause pelvic pain, discomfort during sex, and infertility. There’s no cure for endometriosis, but it can be managed in several ways to prevent it from getting worse and preserve your quality of life.

Although endometriosis is very common — affecting up to 10 percent of reproductive-age women — it can go undiagnosed for many years. However, getting an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis is the first step in managing the condition.

Possible Early Signs And Symptoms Of Endometriosis

There are a few key signs and symptoms that should warrant further investigation for endometriosis. These can range from subtle to chronic and can include:

  • Fatigue: Many women with endometriosis report feeling more tired than usual.
  • Digestion issues: Endometriosis can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and constipation.
  • Painful urination: Endometriosis can affect the bladder, causing painful urination.
  • Painful periods: This may be more than the typical cramps experienced by some women during their period. The pain might be in the lower abdomen, back, or even in the legs or feet.
  • Pain with intercourse: If you feel pain during or after sex, it indicates something may be wrong.
  • Bleeding between periods: Spotting or bleeding between periods is abnormal and should always be discussed with your doctor.
  • Difficulty getting pregnant: Endometriosis can affect fertility, so if you are having difficulty conceiving, you should speak with your doctor about the possibility of endometriosis.

The Importance Of Recognizing The Early Signs

Recognizing the early signs and symptoms of endometriosis is essential, as the condition can often go undetected for many years. Getting diagnosed and treated early is crucial to help prevent the condition from worsening, reduce pain and discomfort, and lessen the risk of infertility.

How Is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

If you suspect you may have endometriosis, speaking with your doctor is essential. Your doctor can help assess whether or not the symptoms you are experiencing could be signs of endometriosis and refer you to a specialist if necessary. Depending on your needs, a gynecologist or an infertility specialist can provide the best treatment approach for your condition. 

And also, since the signs and symptoms of endometriosis can be similar to those of other conditions, it is important to get a proper diagnosis. Your doctor may use any combination of the following tests to diagnose endometriosis:

Medical History And Symptom Assessment 

Most doctors will ask for a detailed medical history and then evaluate your symptoms. This is important to rule out other possible causes of pelvic pain or infertility. For example, certain pre-existing conditions or medications you’re taking can cause symptoms similar to endometriosis.

Imaging Techniques

Imaging tests can help to visually identify lesions or other signs of endometriosis. Some of the common imaging tests used to help diagnose endometriosis include:

  • Pelvic Exam: During this physical examination, your doctor will look for cysts or scars in the pelvic area by palpating (examining by touch) the organs.
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound: A transvaginal ultrasound uses sound waves to develop an image of your pelvic organs, allowing the doctor to look for cysts or other signs of endometriosis.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): This test uses magnetic fields and radio waves to develop a detailed image of your pelvic area, which can help identify lesions and other signs of endometriosis.

Laparoscopy

The most reliable way to diagnose endometriosis is with a laparoscopy. This surgical procedure involves a process in which a small incision is made in your abdomen and a thin, lighted tube is inserted to view your pelvic organs. This allows the doctor to look for signs of endometriosis, such as cysts or lesions. It can also be used to take samples of tissue for further testing.

Other Diagnostic Tools and Biomarkers

In addition to the tests listed above, your doctor may also use laboratory testing and biomarkers to understand your symptoms better and diagnose endometriosis. These tests can include:

  • Hormone Levels: Your doctor may check your hormone levels to see if they are out of balance, as this can be a sign of endometriosis.
  • Blood Tests: These tests can help identify immune system changes and markers of inflammation, which can indicate endometriosis.
  • Biomarkers: Certain proteins and other substances in the blood can be used to diagnose endometriosis.
  • Family history with endometriosis

Common Misdiagnosis Of Endometriosis

Unfortunately, endometriosis is often misdiagnosed or overlooked. This can be due to various factors, such as the fact that many of the symptoms are similar to other conditions. Some of the conditions that endometriosis is often mistaken for include:

  • Bladder Infection: Pelvic pain, lower abdominal cramps, and painful urination are all symptoms that can be confused with a bladder infection.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: This infection of the reproductive organs can cause pelvic pain and other symptoms.
  • Psychosexual Problems: Endometriosis-related pain during intercourse can be mistaken for psychosexual problems, which are psychological and emotional issues related to sex that can cause pain during intercourse.
  • Ovarian Cysts and Uterine Fibroids: Both of these conditions can cause pelvic pain and other symptoms. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in the uterus. They can cause heavy periods as well as pelvic pain and other symptoms. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop in the ovaries. They can cause pelvic pain, bloating, and abnormal bleeding.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is a digestive disorder that can cause abdominal cramps, bloating, and changes in bowel habits.

First Line Of Defense With Endometriosis-Related Pain

If you are diagnosed with endometriosis, there are a few things that you can do to help manage your pain and other symptoms. These include the following:

Try The Endometriosis Diet

Following a diet tailored to the needs of people living with endometriosis can be beneficial in reducing your symptoms. This diet typically focuses on anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and seeds. Additionally, eating a fiber-rich diet can help reduce bloating and improve digestion.

You should avoid processed and sugary foods, as well as caffeine and alcohol. Doing so can also help reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation is essential to addressing endometriosis-related pain because it helps to reduce the size of endometrial lesions.

Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress can affect your endometriosis symptoms and can make them worse. Stress will increase cortisol production. Cortisol is a hormone that can worsen inflammation and increase endometriosis-related pain. As such, it’s vital to take steps to manage stress. This may include making time for relaxation and self-care activities, such as yoga, meditation, and journaling.

Regular Exercises

Exercising regularly can help reduce pain and improve your overall health. Exercise helps reduce inflammation, increase flexibility, and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Good exercises for endometriosis include walking, swimming, and gentle yoga. Regular exercise has also been linked to reduced stress levels, which can also help manage endometriosis-related pain.

Seek Support

Endometriosis can be difficult to cope with, and it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through it alone. Talking to family and friends, as well as finding a support group for people with endometriosis, can help you better cope with your condition. Your doctor can also provide advice and support, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Stay Hydrated To Reduce Cramping

Staying well-hydrated is also beneficial in managing endometriosis-related pain. Drinking plenty of water can help reduce cramping and bloating, which are common symptoms of endometriosis. Additionally, hydration can help to reduce inflammation, which is essential in managing pain. Stick to drinking water and avoiding sugary drinks, which can exacerbate your symptoms.

Take Warm Baths

Simply taking a warm bath or using a heating pad can help to relax tense muscles and reduce cramping. The heat helps to improve blood flow, which can help to reduce pain. It also helps to relax the muscles of the pelvic floor, which is essential in reducing endometriosis-related pain. Additionally, a warm bath can be an excellent way to relax and relieve stress, which can also help manage your symptoms.

How Neuragenex Manages Endometriosis Pain

Here at Neuragenex, we use a Nuerofunctional Pain Management approach to treating chronic conditions such as endometriosis. This means we focus on treating the whole person, not just their physical symptoms. We use a combination of therapies to help reduce pain and address the underlying causes of endometriosis-related pain. These are all non-invasive, drug-free treatment solutions that include the following:

Electroanalgesia

Electroanalgesia is an FDA-cleared therapy solution that helps block pain signals to the brain, stimulates the release of endorphins, and reduces inflammation by improving circulation. This therapy is quick and easy, with no downtime or side effects. It works by stimulating the nerves and muscles in the affected area with electrical pulses.

Although a form of electrical stimulation, it differs from other similar therapies, such as TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), in that it uses a much higher pulse rate. Whereas TENS units typically only deliver electrical currents at a rate of 250 to 400 pulses per second, electroanalgesia delivers pulses at up to 10,000 pulses per second. This higher pulse rate allows the currents to penetrate much further, providing more effective, long-term pain relief.

IV Therapy

Our Neuragenex protocol also includes IV therapy for the treatment of chronic pain. This type of therapy involves the administration of nutrients and vitamins via intravenous (IV) drip. This helps improve the body’s natural healing process and can have a profound effect on chronic pain, inflammation, and other symptoms.

IV therapy is particularly effective for endometriosis since the condition often leads to inflammation of the tissues in the pelvic area. Certain nutrients, such as magnesium, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help address the inflammation associated with endometriosis as well.

Lifestyle Counseling

We also offer lifestyle counseling as part of our whole-person treatment approach. This means we work with each patient to develop a comprehensive plan tailored to their individual needs. This plan includes advice on nutrition, physical activity, stress management, and lifestyle changes that can help reduce endometriosis-related pain.

Early Awareness Is The Key To Effective Treatment

Endometriosis is a complex condition that can be difficult to diagnose and manage. Early awareness and diagnosis are key in treating endometriosis effectively. Although there is no cure, the symptoms can be managed with lifestyle changes and medical intervention. As such, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms related to endometriosis, you must get an accurate diagnosis so that you can take steps to maintain your quality of life.

Understanding The Different Endometriosis Symptoms

Did you know, according to the World Health Organisation, endometriosis currently impacts the lives of approximately 190 million women of childbearing age worldwide? This chronic condition occurs when the uterine lining (endometrial tissue) abnormally grows outside the uterus, leading to a wide range of symptoms that can significantly impact your daily life. 

The causes and symptoms of endometriosis can vary from person to person, making each individual’s experience with the condition unique. Many women struggle with the painful symptoms of endometriosis throughout their daily lives, although perhaps they do not know they have the condition. 

Pain and other symptoms can be life-impacting, causing missed days of study or work, forcing you to forgo the activities you love, and potentially leading to a complex emotional impact. 

Remember, endometriosis doesn’t have to control your life, and you don’t have to rely solely on medication or surgery for relief. We will explore how Neuragenex can help you take control of your endometriosis pain, providing you with a structured and whole-person approach to finding long-term relief.

In this article, we discuss the range of symptoms commonly associated with endometriosis. We will also highlight the health complications related to severe endometriosis if left untreated. By gaining an understanding of these symptoms, you can be better equipped for early detection and intervention, improving your overall quality of life.

Painful Menstrual Periods

Painful menstrual periods, medically known as dysmenorrhea, are the primary symptom of endometriosis. Dysmenorrhea involves intense menstrual cramps, which are more severe than the abdominal discomfort typically experienced throughout menstruation. 

Dysmenorrhea, as seen in endometriosis, occurs when the excess endometrial tissue, both inside and outside the uterus, responds to the regular hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle. 

The inflammatory response throughout menstruation causes severe abdominal pain and cramping. It is not uncommon that pain and cramps begin before menstrual bleeding and persist over several days. 

Some women find the pain extends beyond the abdomen, radiating to the lower back or around the thighs and legs. This occurs because, in some cases, the abnormally growing uterine tissue can irritate the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down into the legs.   

If your menstrual pain is significantly interfering with your quality of life, it is essential to consult your medical provider and discuss your concerns about endometriosis as the underlying cause.

Pain With Sexual Intercourse

Another familiar symptom for women with endometritis is pain during sexual intercourse or dyspareunia. The presence of abnormal endometrial tissue surrounding the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic floor lining, and vaginal walls can cause discomforts such as deep pelvic pain or burning sensations, both during and after penetrative sex.

Depending on the severity of endometriosis, painful symptoms may be short-lived, last for hours, or potentially lasting for days. It is important to know that any pelvic pain associated with sexual intercourse is likely to be caused by an underlying condition such as endometriosis. Communicating openly with your partner and healthcare provider is critical in addressing the issue.

Pain With Bowel Movements

Irregular or painful bowel motions, medically termed Dyschezia, can be a frustrating and potentially debilitating symptom of endometriosis. Abdominal cramping, stabbing pains, diarrhea, and constipation can occur due to the endometrial growth outside the uterus adhering to the bowel, rectum, or bladder.

Hormone fluctuations during menstruation will likely exacerbate these symptoms as the rogue endometrial tissue thickens and inflames, further impacting the surrounding abdominal organs. If you have noticed a change in your bowel habits or are experiencing pain and discomfort,  discussing these symptoms with your healthcare provider is essential.

It is important to note that you should seek urgent medical attention if you notice any blood in your stool when menstruating. In rare cases, endometriosis may cause small tears or fistulas to the tissue between the vaginal canal and the rectum.

Excessive Bleeding

The medical term menorrhagia describes the event where excessive bleeding occurs during menstruation. Women with endometriosis may notice that they are bleeding unusually heavily throughout their periods or that bleeding occurs over a prolonged time (longer than five days). 

Excessive bleeding in endometriosis occurs as a result of the surplus endometrial tissue that also sheds and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. 

Experiencing a heavy menstrual flow can cause other debilitating symptoms such as excessive cramping and bloating, iron deficiency, fatigue, and weakness. Additionally, you may notice bleeding between your scheduled cycle (spotting). 

If you have noticed a change in your menstrual bleeding or are experiencing heavy flows that require the need to change sanitary items more frequently, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider. Discussing your symptoms and exploring the underlying cause, including the possibility of endometriosis, can provide guidance towards early management of the condition.

Infertility

Endometriosis can have a significant impact on a woman’s reproductive health. The rogue endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus can lead to scar tissue formation, adhesions, and structural abnormalities that may impact the effectiveness of reproductive organs. 

The ovaries’ ability to release eggs and the successful attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterine wall can be hindered, making it challenging to conceive successfully

Remember, if you have endometriosis, it is still possible to fall pregnant, and having an effective management plan can assist with your journey.  If you have a history of reproductive issues, have a family history of endometriosis, or are finding it difficult to conceive, consider seeking medical advice on ways to treat your underlying condition to optimize your reproductive health.

Digestive Issues

While there are a number of conditions that cause gastrointestinal upset and digestive problems, these frustrating symptoms are also commonly associated with endometriosis: 

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and Vomiting

The abnormal growth of uterine tissue in endometriosis can spread beyond the uterus and directly impede the digestive system. As this tissue grows, sheds, and bleeds in response to the normal hormonal cycle, it can lead to inflammation and the development of scar tissue or cysts in the surrounding digestive structures. 

This then causes disruption of normal bowel function and digestion and the development of the above symptoms.

If you experience any of the above digestive symptoms along with other symptoms of endometriosis, it is a sign to explore things further. Talking to your healthcare provider in depth about all of your symptoms can help lead to an accurate diagnosis

Ignoring the symptoms associated with endometriosis has the potential for it to become more severe, which is likely to further impact your life. This leads us to discuss the health complications that are known to be associated with endometriosis.

Complications Of Endometriosis

Endometriosis that is left unmanaged will continue to spread, thicken, and affect various abdominal organs, which may lead to serious complications and associated health conditions. For instance, women with advanced endometriosis are known to suffer from infertility, debilitating chronic pain, and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.  

Chronic pain can significantly impact your daily life and overall health and well-being, including your psychological health. The adhesions associated with endometriosis can impact the structures of your abdominal organs, causing them to stick together or preventing them from functioning normally. 

This can lead to long-standing pain and discomfort. Chronic pain caused by endometriosis is also highly associated with the development of anxiety and depression. Persistent pain can bring the inability to perform some daily activities, leading to social isolation and reduced overall well-being.

Endometriosis can also lead to the formation of cysts on the ovaries, medically known as endometriomas. These ovarian cysts can hinder the proper release of eggs from the ovaries, potentially impacting fertility. 

Furthermore, rogue endometrial tissue can cause constriction of the fallopian tubes. Damaged fallopian tubes will impede the eggs’ journey to the uterus for fertilization and implantation, further impacting the ability to conceive and leading to potential infertility. 

However, the most significant concern of advanced endometriosis is the potential increased risk of ovarian cancer. Although the exact reason for this increased risk is still being researched, there is an undoubtedly identified connection. 

It is important to note that not all women with endometriosis will develop cancer. However, tumors may develop on the ovaries as a result of increased inflammation and other structural damages caused by the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue.

If you have concerns about the potential complications associated with endometriosis or if you experience persistent symptoms, regardless of their severity, it is important to consult your healthcare provider in a timely manner. 

They can provide you with personalized guidance specific to your needs and recommend an appropriate management plan to address any complications effectively. Seeking early medical intervention and following a proactive approach can help prevent the progression of endometriosis, improve overall outcomes, and help you find the relief you deserve.

Importance Of Early Detection Of Possible Endometriosis Signs

Early detection of endometriosis plays a significant role in effectively managing the condition and improving your overall health and well-being. 

Endometriosis can prove difficult to diagnose and may require a number of different tests and scans. By noticing the signs and symptoms of endometriosis, being attentive to changes in your menstrual cycle, and seeking timely medical attention, you are more likely to have a better health outcome.

The symptoms of endometriosis can worsen over time if left untreated, and if the condition becomes more severe, the potential for additional health implications increases. The development of adhesions, scar tissue, and cysts as a result of severe endometriosis can impact other abdominal organs and pose significant health complications. 

By detecting endometriosis in the early stages, a personalized management plan can be implemented to help alleviate symptoms’ impact on your daily life and reduce the progression of its harmful impact on your daily life and long-term health.

How Neuragenex Treats Endometriosis Pain

Finding effective and long-lasting relief from painful symptoms is a priority for women who suffer from endometriosis. At Neuragenex, we are dedicated to providing effective pain management solutions that don’t rely on pharmaceuticals and invasive surgical procedures by implementing a Neurofunctional Pain Management (NFPM) approach. 

Unlike traditional treatment options, the NFPM method of managing endometriosis-related pain encompasses a whole-person approach that is safe and effective. NFPM combines high-pulse electrical stimulation, called Electroanalgesia, and specialized hydration intravenous therapy (IV therapy) to target the root causes of endometriosis-related pain. 

Electroanalgesia stimulates the intricate links between our brain, nervous system, and pain, where it targets endometriosis-related pain at the root cause. This painless therapy aims to promote pain relief at a cellular level as it interrupts pain signals, reduces inflammation, and stimulates the release of naturally occurring endorphins. 

Simultaneously, specialized hydration IV therapy addresses nutritional deficiencies and helps to promote optimal health by restoring a healthy balance of essential nutrients and electrolytes to the bloodstream. 

IV therapy aids in reducing inflammation and optimizing the body’s environment and organ function, which can be particularly beneficial for easing the symptoms associated with endometriosis.

At Neuragenex, we customize IV therapy programs for patients by analyzing bloodwork and addressing each individual’s specific needs, such as deficiencies, hydration, or electrolyte imbalances, to ensure they are receiving optional nourishment for their endometriosis pain management. 

Recognizing that each individual’s experiences with endometriosis are unique, Neuragenex conducts thorough diagnostics to tailor treatment plans for optimal pain management. Throughout the Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment protocols, Neuragenex also offers a comprehensive lifestyle counseling education program, empowering patients to maintain strong psychological health, adopt helpful strategies, and achieve long-term pain relief. 

We strongly believe that lifestyle counseling, in conjunction with our more targeted treatments, can support long-term pain management, strengthen one’s psychological health and empower individuals to take steps toward regaining control of their own well-being and quality of life.

Get A Proper Diagnosis To Get The Best Treatment

Understanding the different signs and symptoms of endometriosis is vital for its early detection and accessing effective treatment.  The symptoms of endometriosis certainly have the potential to impact your daily life and, if left untreated, may lead to a number of potentially serious health complications. 

Through the Neurofunctional Pain Management protocol offered by Neuragenex, there is hope for the relief of endometriosis-related symptoms

It is possible to take control of endometriosis-related symptoms and address the root cause without relying solely on medications or surgery. With Neurofunctional Pain Management at Neuragenex, there is a path toward managing endometriosis-related pain through our whole-person approach.

With a focus on personalized treatment plans and comprehensive lifestyle counseling, Neuragenex strives to provide long-lasting pain management solutions for individuals suffering from endometriosis.

Remember, detecting symptoms early and seeking a proper diagnosis is essential in receiving the best treatment. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms or have noticed a change in your menstrual cycle and suspect you may have endometriosis, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional.

Early Signs Of Endometriosis You Need To Watch Out For

Over 6.5 million people in the US alone see their lives entirely disrupted by endometriosis – a condition that causes the abnormal growth of the lining of the uterus (endometrial implants) on other organs, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and pelvic cavity. 

Endometriosis isn’t always painful, but leaving it unaddressed inevitably leads to life-limiting consequences, regardless of whether you experience symptoms or not. 

For example, if you experience pain during periods or sex, these symptoms can cause distress and get in the way of your personal, professional, and intimate life. On the other hand, if you only have mild discomfort that can be mistaken for normal menstrual cramps, the endometrial implants can continue growing undetected on other organs, leading to infertility

Learning to identify the early signs of endometriosis can help you address the risk factors of this condition, avoid its most severe complications, and find the best treatment option for you. Get started with the guide below.

Endometriosis Early Signs

In people with endometriosis, the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows outside of the uterus, on nearby tissues and organs. In healthy reproductive systems, the endometrium plays a vital role during the early stages of pregnancy by supporting the growth of the fetus and protecting it from harmful microbes. 

The endometrium thickens during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle in preparation for a mature egg. If the egg isn’t fertilized and a pregnancy does not occur, the endometrium inside the uterus is then expelled during the menstruation (period). New endometrium is created with each menstrual cycle. 

Endometriosis occurs when the endometrium begins to grow outside of the uterus. This abnormal endometrial tissue, which is known as endometrial implants, can grow on surrounding areas such as the ovaries, bladder, pelvic cavity, rectum, cervix, and exterior walls of the uterus. 

The endometrial implants grow and swell during each menstrual cycle, behaving similarly to the endometrium inside the uterus. However, unlike normal endometrium, endometrial implants are unable to leave the body during your period. 

Over time, the build-up of abnormal endometrial implants leads to a cascade of complications, including:

  • Inflammation of tissues in and around the reproductive organs
  • Blocked fallopian tubes and trapped blood in the ovaries
  • Adhesions, scar tissues, and binding between organs
  • Abnormalities with bodily processes like digestion and bowel movements

As the endometrial implants begin to build up outside of the uterus, you may notice a range of symptoms. Learning to identify them can help you prevent dangerous cysts and lifelong problems like infertility.

Painful Periods (Dysmenorrhea)

It is estimated that 80% of women with dysmenorrhea have endometriosis, making painful periods one of the most common symptoms of this condition. 

However, painful menstruation may seem like a normal aspect of a woman’s menstrual cycle, which causes many women with dysmenorrhea to simply dismiss this symptom. Although mild cramping and discomfort are normally associated with menstruation, it is important to clarify that dysmenorrhea is a severe condition that can worsen over time. 

If you are unsure whether your painful periods are, in fact, a sign that you have endometriosis, look for other associated symptoms such as excessively painful cramps, back and abdominal pain that lasts long before and after your period, and heavy or prolonged bleeding.

Pelvic Pain

If you have endometriosis, the pain you experience isn’t always correlated to the extent and location of the endometrial implants. So, you may have a mild form of endometriosis and experience excruciating pelvic pain. On the other hand, you may only experience mild discomfort even if the endometrial implants are widespread. 

Regardless of how intense your pain is, if you have chronic (lasting longer than six months) or cyclic pain below your belly button, you should immediately undergo diagnostic tests for endometriosis. According to studies, up to 38% of people with chronic pelvic pain have endometriosis.

Pain During Intercourse (Dyspareunia)

Pain during intercourse, or dyspareunia, is a symptom that affects over half of people with endometriosis. It can occur due to deep vaginal penetration because the thrusting that occurs during sexual intercourse further inflames and irritates the endometrial growth outside of the uterus. 

Pain during intercourse can change depending on the phase of your menstrual cycle and can be mild or severe. It is often described as stabbing or sharp sensations that last long after having sex. 

Deep dyspareunia is one of the reasons why over 66% of women with endometriosis also suffer from sexual dysfunction.

Fatigue

Endometriosis is sometimes associated with fatigue and personality changes. These symptoms are more noticeable during menstruation when the body attempts to eliminate the abnormal endometrial growths outside of the uterus and any diseased tissue. During this phase of the menstrual cycle, the body’s immune system also triggers the release of inflammatory toxins known as cytokines, in an effort to fight endometriosis. 

As a result of these chemical processes, you’ll feel constantly fatigued and physically exhausted, especially during menstruation. Although this symptom is sometimes dismissed by healthcare providers, it is crucial to undergo the necessary diagnostic tests before severe symptoms of endometriosis appear.

Bloating

Although mild bloating may be a common denominator of several health conditions, up to 96% of women with endometriosis will experience several gastrointestinal problems known as “endo belly”. These digestive issues include constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and nausea. 

“Endo belly” arises from a range of processes and reactions. Firstly, people with endometriosis may have gastrointestinal bacterial overgrowth, which can impact the normal functioning of the digestive processes. Additionally, the high levels of inflammation caused by the growing endometrial implants can irritate the surrounding tissues and cause water retention, which can cause your pelvic area to appear bloated.

Bowel Problems

If you suffer from endometriosis, over time, the abnormal endometrial implants may begin to spread to surrounding organs, including the bowel, rectum, and intestines. When this happens, the endometrial implants can cause sustained inflammation, irritation, and lesions to the surrounding tissues. 

Over time, this can impact the normal functioning of your bowel and digestive organs, leading to painful and irregular bowel movements, especially when the endometrium is swelling or thickening (i.e.: during the luteal phase). It is also estimated that up to 52% of women with endometriosis also have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Bladder Issues

Endometriosis can affect the health and function of the bladder in two different ways. 

Firstly, ovarian cysts caused by trapped blood in the ovaries can lead to urinary problems by pressure on the bladder. Additionally, if the endometrial implants begin to grow on the bladder and surrounding organs, you may experience several symptoms, such as:

  • Pain during urination (dysuria)
  • Bladder irritation
  • Bladder urgency and frequent urination
  • Pain associated with a full bladder
  • Pain around the kidneys area
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)

These symptoms tend to intensify in the days before your period and during your menstruation.

Infertility

Infertility and endometriosis are often connected. Research published in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics reports that up to 50% of infertile women have endometriosis and that half of those with endometriosis are infertile. 

Infertility in people with endometriosis is often caused by endometrial implants that cause adhesions between organs and scar tissue. The abnormal growth of endometrial tissue can block the fallopian tubes and prevent the release of mature eggs into the uterus, preventing pregnancy. Excessive endometrial growth can also inhibit the action of the sperm or damage a fertilized egg before its implantation in the uterus. 

It is also important to notice that endometriosis can cause sexual dysfunction in otherwise fertile women, which makes it more difficult to conceive. 

Although some women with endometriosis are infertile, others only experience temporary infertility and are able to carry a baby to term successfully following adequate treatment. Other alternatives, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) can assist patients with endometriosis looking to have a baby.

Who Is At Risk Of Getting Endometriosis

The causes and risk factors of endometriosis aren’t always clear. According to different theories, endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue in the uterus is spread to nearby organs and tissues. This can happen due to surgery such as a C-section or retrograde menstruation, which occurs when part of the menstrual blood carrying endometrial tissue flows back into fallopian tubes instead of leaving the body during menstruation. 

Besides these causes, several risk factors can make you more prone to developing endometriosis. Being aware of these risk factors can help you undergo the necessary screening tests early on and address the condition as the first symptoms occur.

Let’s start by looking at the factors that put you at risk of endometriosis. 

  • Individuals with a family history of endometriosis: Although endometriosis isn’t always hereditary, you may be at greater risk of developing endometriosis if you have a first-degree relative (such as a mother, sister, or aunt) suffering from endometriosis or infertility. 
  • Individuals with a history of pelvic infections: A 2023 study shows that individuals with a history of pelvic or genital infections are at greater risk of endometriosis compared to those with no history of these conditions. 
  • Individuals with certain reproductive conditions: Some disorders of the reproductive tract like uterine growths (i.e.: polyps) and asynchronous uterine contractions increase the risk that blood containing endometrial growths is transported outside of the uterus or back into the ovaries. This makes it more likely for you to develop endometriosis. 
  • Structural abnormality: Some structural abnormalities and conditions that prevent the menstrual blood from exiting the body as expected during menstruation may increase the risk of endometrial tissues flowing back into the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Here, they can contaminate healthy tissues and cause endometriosis to develop. These conditions include cervical stenosis, which causes the narrowing or obstruction of the uterus, cervix, or vagina. 
  • Individuals with a high estrogen level: Estrogen is the hormone responsible for the development of the endometrium during the menstrual cycle. Having sustained high levels of estrogen or being exposed to this hormone for years can facilitate the abnormal growth of endometrial implants outside of the uterus, thus increasing the risk of endometriosis. 
  • Individuals with a history of uterine surgery: Uterine surgery such as a C-section or hysterectomy (a procedure used to remove parts of the uterus) can facilitate the contamination of surrounding tissues with endometrial growths, which can start the development of endometriosis. The endometrial tissue can also attach to surgical incisions and spread outside of the uterus. 
  • Individuals diagnosed with immune system disorders: Recent studies have shown the connection between endometriosis and the immune system. Some disorders of the immune system can prevent your body from recognizing and destroying abnormal endometrial cells as it should. 
  • People with certain lifestyle factors: Some lifestyle factors – such as alcohol and caffeine intake, smoking, and physical activity – influence the levels of estrogen in your body, which may contribute to the development of endometriosis. Having a low Body Mass Index (BMI) or a small frame can also put you at greater risk of developing this condition. 
  • Hormonal imbalance: An imbalance of progesterone and estrogen, or having too much estradiol (a type of estrogen responsible for uterine tissue growth) can increase the risk of endometriosis. 

Endometriosis may occur at any point after the onset of the menstrual cycle (menarche). The symptoms of endometriosis may decline during pregnancy and disappear after menopause.

Importance Of Early Awareness

Unfortunately, the majority of women with endometriosis are only able to obtain an accurate diagnosis when they are trying to conceive, or if they are looking into the causes of unexplained infertility. However, this delay in getting a diagnosis – which can be as long as seven years –  isn’t necessarily related to the lack of symptoms. 

According to estimations, only around 20% of cases of endometriosis are asymptomatic, while 80% of women with this condition experience painful periods, excessive bleeding, digestive issues, and pain during intercourse. At the same time, the majority of women with endometriosis are disbelieved or dismissed by their healthcare providers, which can prevent them from obtaining an adequate diagnosis. 

Fortunately, the increased understanding of the symptoms and prognosis of endometriosis has encouraged developments in the diagnostic tools used and highlighted the importance of early awareness. 

Some of the strategies used to diagnose endometriosis today include:

  • A complete review of your medical history, previous pregnancies, and symptoms. 
  • A comprehensive physical exam, during which a healthcare provider will palpate the pelvis area to check for cysts and scars.
  • Ultrasound and imaging tests. These tools provide healthcare providers with images of your inner pelvic area, which helps them identify the location, extent, and severity of eventual endometrial implants. 
  • Minimally-invasive surgical procedures like laparoscopy, use thin viewing instruments inserted in the area inside the abdomen to determine what areas are affected by endometriosis. 

Advocating for your own health and working with a specialist who can help you obtain an accurate diagnosis for your pelvic pain can help you prevent severe complications, like cysts, scars, and infertility.

Conventional Treatment Options for Endometriosis

Endometriosis is considered to be a lifelong condition for which there is no definitive cure. However, your healthcare provider may recommend the following treatment approaches to manage your symptoms: 

  • Medications (e.g. pain relievers, hormonal therapy): Certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and painkillers may be used to ease discomfort and distress during flare-ups. Hormonal therapies (such as birth control pills, GnRH medications, and hormone suppressants) can slow down the development of endometrial implants, which are hormone-dependent. 
  • Surgery (e.g. laparoscopic excision, hysterectomy): Minimally-invasive procedures such as laparoscopy can be used to view the area inside the abdomen, collect samples for testing, and remove parts of the abnormal endometrial growth. More invasive procedures like hysterectomy can be used to remove parts of the uterus, the ovaries, or the cervix to stop the progression of endometriosis. Since hysterectomy is irreversible and causes permanent infertility, this surgery is only performed if the symptoms of endometriosis are causing disability. 
  • Lifestyle changes (e.g. exercise, diet): Switching to a gluten-free diet has been seen to decrease inflammation, regulate hormonal activity, and reduce endometriosis pain. Other remedies such as massages, rest, heat compresses, light exercise, and supplements with anti-inflammatory properties can also help relaxation, reduce muscle cramps, and trigger the release of the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins. 

Before choosing a certain line of treatment, it is important to determine what your goals are. For example, if you are hoping to conceive, birth control pills and irreversible surgical procedures such as hysterectomy are not suitable choices. What’s more, in around 20% of cases, surgical procedures for endometriosis are inefficient, leaving patients to seek an alternative treatment option.

Early Detection Is The Key To Effective Treatment

If you suffer from endometriosis, you may be battling the prospect of living a life reliant on medications or undergoing invasive surgical procedures. Fortunately, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical treatment options that are efficient in easing the symptoms of endometriosis and slowing down the progression of this disease exist. 

The whole-person Neurofunctional Pain Management approach pioneered by Neuragenex combines several therapies  to help you regain your pelvic health and lay the foundations of long-term health. These include:

  • Electroanalgesia: This pain management method utilizes high-frequency pulses of electrical current that are delivered through the skin with an FDA-cleared device. The pulses of electricity prevent pain signals from reaching the brain and trigger the release of endorphins, thus providing long-lasting relief from pain. 
  • IV therapy: Custom IV therapy programs designed on your unique needs will aim to address and correct those nutritional imbalances that may be contributing to endometriosis.
  • Lifestyle counseling: A lifestyle counselor at Neuragenex will help you introduce the positive lifestyle changes needed to prevent the progression of endometriosis, ease pain, and support overall health throughout your life.

TENS Unit For Endometriosis: Is It Strong Enough For Long-Term Relief?

Endometriosis is a condition that affects the reproductive system, where the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of it, causing pain and discomfort. Almost half of the female population throughout the world experience endometriosis in some form. Women with endometriosis often experience chronic pain, which can significantly impact their quality of life. One potential treatment option for managing endometriosis-related pain is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy. TENS therapy involves the use of a small, battery-operated device that sends low-level electrical currents through the skin to stimulate the nerves and reduce pain.

While some people with endometriosis have reported relief from TENS therapy, it may not be effective enough to fully manage endometriosis-related pain and while TENS therapy can help reduce pain during menstrual periods, it may not be effective in reducing chronic pelvic pain or improving overall quality of life for an extended period of time.

Endometriosis And TENS Therapy

TENS therapy is a relatively popular treatment option for managing endometriosis-related pain. However, it’s important to note that self-reported use of TENS therapy does not necessarily indicate its effectiveness in relieving pain. Additionally, TENS therapy may not be widely available or accessible to all individuals with endometriosis, depending on factors such as treatment cost, patient education, and availability of TENS devices.

Benefits Of Using A Tens For Endometriosis Pain

TENS therapy can offer several potential benefits for individuals with endometriosis who are seeking pain relief. First, TENS therapy is a non-invasive, drug-free option for managing pain, which may be appealing to individuals who are looking to avoid the side effects and risks associated with medication or surgery. Second, TENS therapy is a relatively safe and easy-to-use treatment option, which can be self-administered at home with the guidance of a healthcare provider. Third, TENS therapy can provide targeted pain relief to specific areas of the body, which may be particularly beneficial for individuals with endometriosis who experience localized pain in the pelvic region. Fourth, TENS therapy has been shown to stimulate the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals. This can help to reduce pain and promote a sense of relaxation and well-being. 

However, it’s important to note that the efficacy of TENS therapy for endometriosis-related pain may vary from person to person, and some individuals may not experience significant relief of their symptoms with this treatment. Additionally, TENS therapy should be used as part of a comprehensive pain management plan, which may include other treatments and strategies such as medication, physical therapy, or counseling.

How A TENS Unit Work In Managing Endometriosis Pain

TENS therapy works by delivering low-level electrical impulses to the body via electrodes placed on the skin. These electrical impulses stimulate the nerve fibers in the affected area, which can help to interrupt the pain signals that are being sent to the brain.

Specifically, TENS therapy is thought to work by two primary mechanisms: the gate control theory and the release of endorphins. The gate control theory suggests that the electrical impulses produced by the TENS device can stimulate larger nerve fibers, which can help to block the transmission of pain signals from the smaller nerve fibers. The release of endorphins is the body’s natural pain relief mechanism. TENS therapy is thought to stimulate the release of endorphins in the body, which can help to reduce pain and promote a sense of relaxation and well-being.

Is An At-Home TENS Unit Strong Enough To Relieve Endometriosis Pain?

There are several reasons why TENS therapy may not be effective enough to fully manage endometriosis-related pain. For one, the underlying causes of endometriosis are not fully understood, which can make it challenging for those suffering from endometriosis pain to understand how to use the unit effectively. Additionally, endometriosis-related pain can be complex and multifactorial, involving a combination of inflammatory, hormonal, and neurogenic factors. TENS therapy may be effective at reducing pain related to nerve stimulation, but it may not address the other factors that contribute to endometriosis-related pain.

Finally, it is worth noting that TENS therapy is just one of many potential treatment options. Other options may include medication, hormone therapy, surgery, or a combination of these approaches. The best course of treatment will depend on the individual’s specific symptoms and needs, and healthcare professionals should work closely with their patients to develop a personalized treatment plan that is most effective and appropriate for them. Often, these personalized treatment plans do not include TENS therapy and it is typically due to its lacking efficacy.

Required Current And Wavelength To Achieve Relief

For effective treatment, the higher the pulse an electric stimulation treatment delivers, the more pain it will relieve– as long as it is safe, of course. When compared to other electric pulse stimulation therapies for pain relief, TENS treatment does not administer the lowest current available, but it is nowhere near the highest. Therefore, TENS treatment is not the most effective in providing lasting pain relief.

Insurance Coverage

Because a TENS unit does not provide adequate electrical stimulation for pain relief, it is not covered by insurance, particularly if it is an at-home device. Ultimately, the decision to use TENS therapy should be based on the individual’s needs, medical history, and financial situation, and should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional. However, because it is not covered by health insurance and doesn’t typically provide adequate or lasting pain relief, many seeking endometriosis pain relief will turn to alternative options.

Risks of TENS Units for Endometriosis Pain Management

TENS Units for Endometriosis pain management come with some potential risks and side effects. Some of the most common side effects of TENS therapy include discomfort in the abdominal area, skin irritation, irritation of the endometrial tissue, and allergic reactions.

Discomfort in the Abdominal Area

Discomfort in the abdominal area is one of the most common side effects of TENS therapy for endometriosis. This discomfort can range from mild to severe and may feel like a cramping or pulling sensation in the pelvic region. While this discomfort is usually temporary and will subside after the TENS therapy is stopped, it can be unpleasant and may interfere with daily activities.

Skin Irritation and Endometrial Tissue Irritation

Skin irritation is another potential side effect of TENS therapy. This can occur when the electrodes used in the therapy are not placed properly or are left in place for too long. Skin irritation can manifest as redness, itching, or a rash at the site of the electrodes. In some cases, this irritation can be severe enough to require medical treatment.

Irritation of the endometrial tissue is another potential risk associated with TENS therapy for endometriosis. This can occur when the electrodes are placed over the areas of the body where endometrial tissue is present. This irritation can cause the tissue to become inflamed and can exacerbate pain and discomfort in the pelvic region.

Allergic Reactions

Finally, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the materials used in TENS therapy, such as the electrodes or the adhesive used to hold them in place. These reactions can range from mild to severe and may include itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Individuals with a history of allergies or skin sensitivities should discuss their risks with their healthcare provider before using a TENS unit for endometriosis pain management.

Who Should Avoid Using TENS Unit For Endometriosis?

Pregnant women and women with implanted medical devices should avoid using TENS therapy for endometriosis pain management. The electrical stimulation could cause harm to the developing fetus, and the device could interfere with the function of implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers or defibrillators. Additionally, individuals with epilepsy or a history of seizures should use TENS therapy with caution as it may trigger a seizure. 

It is also important to note that TENS therapy should not be used as a substitute for proper medical care for endometriosis. While it may provide temporary relief of pain, it does not address the underlying condition and should be used in conjunction with other medical treatments prescribed by a healthcare professional. Women who experience severe or persistent pain should seek medical attention to ensure proper diagnosis and management of their endometriosis.

Why Traditional Pain Management Approaches May Not Be Enough

Traditional pain management strategies, such as TENS therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can provide temporary relief. However, they may not be enough for long-term pain management due to their limitations and potential risks.

NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, are commonly used to manage pain. However, prolonged use of NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach ulcers and bleeding, and may increase the risk of cardiovascular events. Moreover, not all women respond to NSAIDs, and some may require stronger pain medications, such as opioids, which have their own risks and limitations.

Partnering TENS therapy with NSAIDs is not enough for long-term pain management for endometriosis. Instead, a comprehensive approach to pain management should be taken, which includes lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management techniques. Women with endometriosis may also benefit from alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy but these are no guarantee for long-term pain relief.

A Better Non-Surgical And Non-Invasive Treatment For Endo Pain

Neuragenex leads the way with its whole-person approach to pain management and relief. With Electroanalgesia patients feel lasting relief from endometriosis pain. Accompanying Electroanalgesia, patients can also expect to be treated to a specialized nutritional hydration therapy to assist the body in its natural healing process. Finally, patients will be treated with a suite of lifestyle counseling and patient education that ensures they will have the opportunity to and confidence to tackle aspects of their endometriosis pain on their own.

Electroanalgesia

Neuragenex offers the most effective form of electrical stimulation and pain relief through electroanalgesia. Not only is it safe and effective at treating endometriosis pain, its efficacy outweighs that of a TENS unit. Its efficacy, when compared to a TENS unit, is directly related to its high-pulse stimulation which is 1,000 times higher than that of a TENS unit. Electroanalgesia, with its high pulse electrical stimulation, creates a depolarization effect on the pain neurons, while also stimulating tissue regeneration that repairs damaged nerves and damaged microvascular tissues.

Specialized Nutritional Hydration Therapy

Neuragenex’s specialized nutritional hydration therapy of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional necessities assists the body’s ability to relieve pain and works in conjunction with Electroanalgesia’s ability to relieve pain.

Lifestyle Counseling And Patient Education

Patients seeking the most effective form of relief from endometriosis pain will find it with our treatment program and attain the ability to maintain their pain in the interim by participating in our educational and lifestyle counseling. These programs ensure patients will have the ability and confidence to do all they can to mitigate the often debilitating endometriosis pain.

Get A Long-Term Endometriosis Pain Relief With Neuragenex

At Neuragenex, we understand that pain from endometriosis can be life-limiting and preclude many from living the full-fledged life they had imagined. At the same time, we know and have confidence that pain relief will come through our electroanalgesia, IV therapy, and educational programs. At Neuragenex, our mission is to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify quality of life while operating as a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic pain treatment provider. Our vision is to be the first thought, first choice, and first step in the journey of chronic pain relief.

The Next Generation Of Treatment For Endometriosis Pain Management

Almost half of the women worldwide experience the conditions of endometriosis and a lot of them experience it as soon as early puberty. Even considering that this condition is common, most who experience the pain do not seek medical attention or look for treatment. 

For the most part, this is not due to patients not wanting treatment, but to a lack of treatment options in general. Because of the manner in which this condition develops and the early signs that manifest as endometriosis, women who experience its effects look to common and temporary relief for the pain, rather than seeking more effective and lasting treatment. 

Dr. Machairiotis emphasizes the urgency for effective treatment by explaining that, “. . . pain is one of the main symptoms of endometriosis and it has a deleterious effect on a patient’s personal and social life. To date, the clinical management of pain includes prolonged medication use and, in some cases, surgery, both of which are disruptive events for patients. Hence, there is an urgency for the development of a sufficient non-invasive medical treatment” (2021).

Relief from the pains of chronic endometriosis, although elusive, exists and can significantly improve the lives of women who understand and seek it out.  Knowing and understanding what your body is going through is the first step to seeking effective and lasting treatment– a next-generation treatment that can be found through Neuragenex.

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis develops within women and can best be explained as tissue that should remain inside the uterus growing outside the uterus instead. As Dr. Teresa Gruber and Sylvia Mechsner explain, endometriosis (EM) “. . . is defined by endometrial tissue-like lesions that occur outside the uterine cavity. Primarily, the disease is described as ectopic lesions on the peritoneum of the internal genital organs (endometriosis genitalis externa)” (2021).

Specific causes are debated among the medical community, but it is generally assumed that endometriosis is caused by cell differentiation when a female reaches puberty. This cell differentiation causes the lining of the uterus to be developed on the outside.

During each menstrual cycle, the body is designed to break down this tissue and be released but because the tissue has been developed on the outside of the uterus, it has nowhere to go. 

Since it is unable to leave the body, the abnormal endometrial growth builds up, swells, and thickens with each menstrual cycle. This leads to severe complications such as widespread inflammation, cysts, scarring, and adhesions that bind reproductive organs together and prevent them from working properly. Ultimately, women with endometriosis are at greater risk of infertility, difficult bowel movements, pain during sex, and painful periods. 

Although a definitive cure for endometriosis remains elusive, there is a lot that patients can do to relieve their symptoms and restore their reproductive health. Below, we’ll explore what research says and how Neurofunctional Pain Management for endometriosis represents a valid, non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical alternative to surgery or medication.

What The Research Says About Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a widespread condition that affects millions of women worldwide. And yet, despite how common this disorder is, 90% of people with endometriosis report being disbelieved or dismissed by doctors and loved ones. The existing stigma surrounding this condition – coupled with the fact that its symptoms are not immediately outwardly visible – has delayed the search for a definitive cure. 

Nonetheless, recent research is providing valuable insights into the causes, risk factors, and treatment options for endometriosis. Let’s look at this research in more detail below.

How A Patient’s Diet Is Connected To Endometriosis Pain

Dr. Mary Salliss and her associates summarize the experience of endometriosis as, “. . . a chronic, burdensome condition that is historically understudied” (2021). As far as the pathogenesis (or development) of endometriosis is concerned, the physicians continue to explain that the condition is “. . . influenced by estrogen metabolism and inflammation, which are modulated by several factors including the microbiome and the estrobolome (the collection of genes encoding estrogen-metabolizing enzymes in the gut microbiome). Therefore, there is increasing interest in understanding the role of microbiota in endometriosis etiology.”

To break this down, it should be understood that these doctors are specifically concentrating on the patient’s diet (microbiome) and how it can contribute to the increased/decreased pain (etiology) that patients experience. 

Also, note that chronic inflammation makes an appearance in this chronic pain condition. Chronic systemic inflammation is a common characteristic of pain conditions and chronic pain in general.

The doctors continue to suggest that, “[t]here is evidence that a dysbiotic [imbalanced] gut or genital microbiota is associated with multiple gynecologic conditions, with mounting data supporting an association between the microbiome and endometriosis and infertility. These microbiomes likely play a role in the gut-brain axis [pathway for communication between the gut and brain], which further supports a putative [reported] association with the spectrum of symptoms associated with endometriosis, including infertility . . .” 

In short, these physicians argue that a woman’s ability to maintain a healthy diet will greatly lessen the pain caused by endometriosis.

Why Endometriosis Is Hard To Diagnose

As one might imagine, the body would have an adverse reaction to being unable to release tissue that has broken down and is expected to release. This adverse reaction has even worse side effects when the tissue has grown into other organs surrounding the pelvic area and can cause severe complications and pain if not treated. However, most women who experience this pain do not recognize or differentiate it from the pain that is associated with a more common menstrual cycle. 

In a study conducted by doctors Milica Markovic and associates determined from a sample of Australian women that “diagnosis is not always straightforward, and women and health professionals alike may have difficulties recognizing period pain as a sign of anomaly, considering it instead as an inevitable part of menstruation” (2008). 

Because of the inevitable pain and discomfort associated with menstruation, many thousands of women do not seek diagnosis or treatment for endometriosis, making the condition much more unknown and elusive than other pain conditions.

Endometriosis is typically diagnosed based on the level of pain that a woman experiences during a menstrual cycle. Cramps that are worse than usual or an over-dependence on painkillers may signify that a doctor’s opinion is necessary. 

Women suffering from the effects of endometriosis should look for any signs of pain surrounding or involving the pelvic region, and this includes pain during intercourse, urination, and tension or severe cramping in the abdomen

Unfortunately, many women seek temporary solutions to the debilitating pain that do not ultimately have lasting effects, probably because they are unaware that they may even have endometriosis as a condition. 

Because of the lack of knowledge involving lasting treatment, many women settle with and accept the conditions they have and move forward without ever seeking help. However, there may be options that can help.

Available Conventional Treatments For Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a difficult condition to diagnose and treat and, in most cases, patients only obtain a detailed clinical picture when dealing with unexpected infertility. Additionally, endometriosis can manifest itself with a range of symptoms, which are not always correlated to the amount of endometrial growth present outside of the uterus. 

In simple terms, some patients can deal with severe lesions, excruciating pain, and inflammation arising from minimal endometrial growth; while others with advanced endometriosis have little to no symptoms. 

Depending on the nature of your condition and the extent of it, your healthcare provider may recommend a specific line of treatment to address your symptoms, ease pain, and remove the endometrial implants. Here’s what you need to know about the treatment options traditionally recommended.

Medications

Medications that aim to ease the pain deriving from endometriosis are often the first line of treatment recommended for this condition. It is important to note that most pharmaceutical treatments only aim to address the symptoms of endometriosis, but they don’t slow down the growth of endometrial implants outside the uterus. Additionally, each pharmaceutical treatment comes with significant downsides, including gastrointestinal ulcers, headaches, mood swings, and even addiction.

Here are some of the most common medications prescribed for endometriosis: 

  • NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are affordable and accessible, and can be used to reduce the pain you experience during flare-ups. Although they represent a valid short-term treatment to manage your symptoms, taking NSAIDs chronically can increase your risk of addiction, stroke, heart attack, and stomach ulcers. What’s more, not all patients respond well to these drugs. 
  • Muscle Relaxants: Muscle relaxants are prescribed to relieve the tension and cramping of the pelvis muscles, which can occur due to inflammation and irritation. Without cramps, patients can experience a decrease in pain, better sleep quality, and less discomfort during bowel movements. 
  • Antidepressants: Antidepressants reduce pain by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters in the spinal cord responsible for modulating pain signals. To see results from a pharmaceutical treatment based on antidepressants, you’ll need to take these medications daily for weeks at a time. However, when doing so, be sure to evaluate the side effects of this class of drugs, which include dizziness, sleep disturbances, and mood swings. 
  • Anticonvulsants: This class of drugs is used to prevent seizures, but it also has an inhibiting effect on the pain signals traveling from overactive nerves to the brain. Anticonvulsants like gabapentin and pregabalin may help in reducing endometriosis pain but, when taken regularly, they lead to nausea, weight gain, drowsiness, and fatigue.
  • Hormone Therapy: Endometrial implants that grow outside of the uterus are hormone-dependent, just like the endometrium inside the uterus is. So, each month, during the menstrual cycle luteal phase, the abnormal endometrial growth thickens and expands, worsening the severity of your endometriosis. Hormone therapy like birth control pills and GnRH drugs suppress the hormones involved with the menstrual cycle to prevent further endometrial growth.
  • Muscle Injections: Botox (Botulinum Toxin) injections into the pelvis muscles can cause these muscles to relax and prevent painful spasms and cramps. This may help you manage pain and limit distress when passing urine or stool.

Non-Surgical Interventions

Alongside medications, your healthcare provider may recommend non-surgical, conservative treatments that can help you manage pain and discomfort. Although these therapies are not equally efficient for every patient, they can help you improve your overall physical health and mental well-being. 

These therapies include 

  • Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: Through techniques such as trigger point therapy, pelvic floor exercises (i.e.: Kegel exercise), and deep tissue massage, pelvic floor muscle physical therapy can help you improve the function, strength, and coordination of your pelvic muscles. This can prevent cramps and spasms, and ultimately ease the pain deriving from endometriosis. 
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Initially developed in the 1960s, CBT can be used to address the psychological distress associated with endometriosis. Through CBT, patients can ease the anxiety derived from their fear of pain and ultimately improve their condition.
  • Stress Management: Stress can significantly worsen your endometriosis symptoms. This is because high levels of stress are associated with high inflammation, which worsens the distress and pain you experience from thickening endometrial implants outside of the uterus. Additionally, stress increases fatigue and influences how you experience pain. Stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises can help you manage your condition in your daily life.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Some habits such as caffeine intake, alcohol consumption, smoking, and limited physical activity may impact the synthesis of sex hormones. Positive lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, reducing caffeine, and eating a nutritious diet can help you combat pain by decreasing inflammation, boosting blood circulation, and toning your muscles.

Surgery

Given the side effects associated with this treatment option, surgery for endometriosis is only recommended when the condition is recalcitrant, severe, or not responding to other lines of treatment. Your doctor may also propose surgery as a valid alternative if the pain you are experiencing is life-limiting, disabling, or impacting your ability to work and have a social life. 

Known as laparoscopy, surgical interventions for endometriosis aim to remove portions of the endometrial implants that are growing outside of the uterus. This surgery is minimally invasive and may help slow down the progress of endometriosis, but 20% of patients require further treatment to manage their symptoms.

In more severe cases, you may need to undergo a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, cervix, or ovaries to ease pain and regain some of your pelvic function. This surgery is extremely invasive and irreversible, meaning that you’ll be permanently sterile.

Alternative-Medicine Strategies For Managing Endometriosis Pain

Some non-invasive treatment options based on alternative medicine may be used to manage the symptoms of endometriosis without medications or surgery. It is important to note that this approach isn’t always efficient. 

Some of the alternative treatments you may consider trying include: 

  • Gluten-free diets: Studies conducted in 2012 show that following a gluten-free diet for at least 12 months is associated with a significant decrease in endometriosis pain. This is because gluten can influence hormonal activity and increase inflammation. Make sure to consult a specialized dietitian before switching to this nutritional plan. 
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture may relax tense muscles, ease stress, relieve pain, and trigger the release of the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins. According to a 2023 study, acupuncture can be used to shorten pain duration, relieve dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), and improve overall quality of life. 
  • TENS: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for endometriosis leverages mild pulses of electrical current that interfere with how pain signals travel to the brain. The pulses also stimulate blood circulation and trigger the production of feel-good hormones like endorphins.
  • Botox: Botox injections may be used to support muscle relaxation and ease the painful spasms and cramps often associated with endometriosis. The muscle-relaxing effects of Botox injections can last up to six months.

Home Remedies For Endometriosis Pain

Some home remedies can be used to ease endometriosis pain during flare-ups that can help you temporarily, especially during menstruation or other critical times of the month. The following home remedies may reduce stress, increase blood flow to the area, relax tense muscles, relieve spasms, and reduce inflammation:

  • Heat compresses
  • Pelvic massages
  • Rest 
  • Supplements with relaxing or anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric and chamomile
  • Light exercise 
  • Taking probiotics and prebiotics to improve gut health

Since some of these remedies may interact with medications or negatively influence your health, make sure to consult an expert before choosing this line of treatment.

Next Generation Neurofunctional Pain Management For Endometriosis

It should be a relief for patients to know that there are not only treatments for endometriosis, but that possible lasting and effective treatments can be found through Neuragenex and the use of Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment protocols. 

The way our brains interpret pain is meant to signal to us that something needs to be done. Pain signals have the purpose of driving us to seek treatment or to stop using or agitating the affected area altogether. 

With Neurofunctional Pain Management we are able to manage the pain signals that trigger the pain while treating the hydration and nutritional deficiencies of the patient, so pain is lessened over time.

Combined Electroanalgesia And Hydration Therapy

Neuragenex uses high pulse electrical stimulation to relieve chronic pain, combined with specialized hydration therapy to apply health restoration efforts to address the nutritional deficiency and restore health so that the pain relief effect will endure as long as possible. The combination of high-pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy is called Neurofunctional Pain Management and is a proprietary treatment protocol offered exclusively by Neuragenex.

High pulse stimulation is the initial step in the process because it requires a high pulse frequency to deliver enough power to stimulate pain neurons in the tissues deep in the body that are causing endometriosis. The high pulse stimulation creates a depolarization effect that relieves pain. 

The specialized hydration component is accomplished with nutritional deficiency application to balance the needed vitamins and minerals that are deficient based on blood test results. 

Because there is never a one-size-fits-all solution for most pain conditions, Neuragenex performs thorough diagnostics so that the overall treatment is as effective as possible.

Lifestyle Counseling Education Program

In addition to Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment protocols, Neuragenex offers a robust and extensive lifestyle counseling education program that helps patients engage in a healthier lifestyle and ultimately produce the best possible pain relief duration.

Our goal is to educate patients who experience pain, offer treatment for that pain, and celebrate the results as patients return to living a manageable lifestyle. 

With these therapies combined, our objective is to create lasting therapeutic applications for relieving pain.

Take The First Step Toward Managing Endometriosis Pain

With Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment protocols, Neuragenex is poised to be one of the only treatment options available for such a difficult pain condition as endometriosis. There are few conventional treatment options for endometriosis, so being able to offer a full treatment program specifically for this condition makes Neuragenex a next-generation pain management program.

Our mission is to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify the quality of life without drugs, surgery, or invasive procedures while maintaining a treatment program that is non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic. Our vision is to be the first thought, first choice, and first step in your journey of chronic pain relief.