Managing Endometriosis Symptoms Through Self-Care

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Endometriosis can significantly impact physical, social, and emotional well-being. That’s why it’s important for endometriosis treatment to not only include medical therapies but also self-care practices for the overall management of the condition.

This article will review self-care tips to ease pain, alleviate symptoms, and reduce the triggers of living with endometriosis. 

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care includes daily activities and practices used to take care of your own physical, social, and emotional well-being without the help of a healthcare provider.

An illustration with information about managing endometriosis through self-care

Illustration by Zoe Hansen for Verywell Health

Importance of Self-Care in Managing Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis is a chronic condition without a known cure, so self-care is important for managing your symptoms to help ease discomfort and pain and improve your overall quality of life.

Self-care habits like using a heating pad and regular exercise can help alleviate some of your pain and discomfort. Inflammation from endometriosis can also be triggered or worsened by stress. Therefore, self-care habits that decrease stress and inflammation throughout the body can help manage endometriosis.

Self-care is only one part of an interdisciplinary approach for treating and managing endometriosis. 

How to Practice Endometriosis Self-Care at Home

Self-care methods for endometriosis include habits that can be practiced at home without specific medical treatment or guidance from a healthcare provider. These include practices like:

  • Stress management: Managing stress levels can help decrease inflammatory processes linked to endometriosis disease activity. Ways to manage stress include spending leisure time with friends and family, devoting time to hobbies and interests, walking, listening to music, and meditating.
  • Heat therapy: Heat can dilate blood vessels and relax tight muscles, which can help ease pain and discomfort from endometriosis. Applying a hot pack to your lower abdominal and pelvic region or taking a warm bath are easy ways to do this at home.
  • Movement: Regular physical activity has been linked to decreased symptoms in many inflammatory conditions like endometriosis due to the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise. Regular exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight and low body fat percentage, which has been linked to lower levels of estrogen and reduced risk of developing endometriosis.

Living With Endometriosis Means Taking Care of Your Body and Mind

Like other chronic, inflammatory conditions, endometriosis flare-ups can be triggered by stress. Because of this connection between the mind and body, it is important to care for each.

Finding ways to effectively manage your stress, including through exercise, meditation, and social activities with friends and family, can help maintain a positive attitude, which can help lower inflammation throughout your body, and reduce the risk of endometriosis flare-ups. Taking supplements like those containing omega-3 fatty acid and chamomile can also help with certain symptoms.

Endometriosis is believed to be related to dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, linked to increased pain and inflammation.

How to Create a Self-Care Plan for Endometriosis

A self-care plan for endometriosis starts with figuring out what types of daily habits and activities you can incorporate into your routine to help manage your symptoms. These can include things like applying heat when you feel increased pain and participating in leisure activities to help manage your stress.

Because regular exercise is also helpful for managing symptoms of endometriosis, working regular exercise into your weekly schedule at least two or three times per week can also be added to your self-care plan for endometriosis. If your healthcare provider recommends that you see a physical therapist to strengthen your pelvic floor, you will likely have these sessions once or twice per week. 

When to Apply Endometriosis Self-Care

Self-care methods for endometriosis are important to use throughout various stages of dealing with endometriosis to help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Self-care practices should be performed:

  • During flare-ups: Endometriosis flare-ups are periods of increased disease activity characterized by worsened inflammation and pain. During flare-ups, it is especially important to use self-care methods to help reduce pain and alleviate some symptoms.
  • When taking endometriosis medications: Medications for endometriosis help suppress endometriosis-like lesions, although they are not a cure for shrinking or eliminating lesions. Because of this, self-care methods are still important during this time to supplement your medication in helping manage symptoms. 
  • After surgery: Although surgery can help remove areas causing pain, the underlying inflammatory processes that are causing lesions to develop may still be going on throughout the body. Therefore, self-care management methods are still handy after surgery to promote improved quality of life.


Because endometriosis has no known cure, self-care methods are important for managing symptoms to improve your quality of life when living with endometriosis. While endometriosis cannot be cured and medication and surgery are the main treatment options used to treat pain from endometriosis, self-care options such as stress management, heat therapy, and regular movement and exercise also play an important role in maintaining physical, social, and emotional health.

Self-care habits should be incorporated into daily and weekly routines and utilized during periods of flare-ups, when taking medication, and after surgery to help treat your symptoms and lower your levels of inflammation.

9 Sources
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By Kristen Gasnick, PT, DPT
Kristen Gasnick, PT, DPT, is a medical writer and a physical therapist at Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey.