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When I first began to consider endometriosis as the root cause of my long-standing symptoms, I didn’t know where to turn — other than the Internet! It’s thanks to the wonders of modern technology that I was connected to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Endometriosis & Chronic Pelvic Pain, and that I was able to discern that the period pain I’d experienced for years wasn’t normal, after all.
But one thing I wish I’d had that I didn’t was a list of resources to help me manage my endometriosis better at home. Everywhere I turned, I read the same advice: use a heating pad. Avoid dairy and gluten. Take some vitamins. But really, I was looking for more. I wanted to know everything there was to know about managing my endometriosis.
Now that I know more about my disease, and about how to manage it at home, I’ve decided to put together the ultimate list of resources — the list I wish I had when I first heard the word “endometriosis” — to help you learn everything there is to know about endo and take care of your body amid its pain and suffering.
- Beating Endo by Amy Stein and Dr. Iris Kerin Orbuch
- Heal Pelvic Pain by Amy Stein
- The Doctor Will See You Now by Dr. Tamir Seckin
- WomanCode by Alisa Vitti
Apps to Download
- In the FLO is the paid period-tracking app to accompany WomanCode and Alisa Vitti’s cycle-syncing method. The app lets you log your symptoms and provides recommendations for controlling them naturally.
- Flutter is a must-have for anyone with endo! In Flutter, you can log your symptoms in detail (the app is geared specially toward endometriosis sufferers), as well as your diet, exercise and sexual activity, and export them to a printable format to bring to your doctor’s office.
- Clue is another period-tracking app I love. It learns from the symptoms you log to predict exactly when they will arrive, giving you a heads up via notification when you might be in for some extra pelvic pain or GI discomfort.
- Know Your Normal Period Tracker
- Her Endometriosis Reality 3-Month Symptom Tracker
- Her Endometriosis Reality Pain and Impact Questionnaire
- Endometriosis Foundation Personal Pain Profile
Vitamins & Supplements
- Magnesium may prevent period pain and premenstrual syndrome. I take Nature Made Magnesium every day.
- Evidence: Literature Review
- B vitamins are used in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and may improve focus and concentration if fatigue is a primary symptom for you. I take Nature Made B-Complex every day.
- Evidence: Study (small sample size)
- Dong quai is an herb used to treat heavy periods in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has anti-inflammatory effects and has been used to treat dysmenorrhea. I like Moody Bird from HUM Nutrition, which combines dong quai with chaste berry, another traditional herb used to treat endometriosis.
- Evidence: Multiple Studies
- Clary sage essential oil can relieve period cramps when rubbed into the pubic bone (mix with a carrier oil, like coconut, before applying to skin!)
- Evidence: Anecdotal
Sexual Health Products
- Slippery Stuff is my favorite lubricant. It is both paraben- and glycerin-free, helping reduce irritation and pain during sex.
- Skyn Condoms are spermicide-free and non-latex, reducing the potential for irritation during sex. If you’re not in a long-term monogamous relationship, they’re a must for preventing the spread of STIs!
- Zestra can improve low libido when applied to the clitoris 30 minutes prior to sex. The oil enhances sensation and blood flow to the clitoris.
- Vitamin E oil reduces vaginal irritation when applied twice a day for at least two months, according to Amy Stein, author of Heal Pelvic Pain.
- Put an End to Your Endometriosis is an audio master class with Alisa Vitti, author of WomanCode, geared specially toward those of us with endo. Click here to purchase and download.
- BKR makes glass water bottles that are both chic and functional. Switching to glass reduces your exposure to BPA, which has been linked to endometriosis and its symptoms. Click here to purchase the exact model I have.
- Anthropologie’s Travel Yoga Mat folds up small enough to fit in almost any tote or suitcase, and is perfect for performing pelvic floor exercises on-the-go. Click here to purchase.
- Yogi Tea’s Woman’s Raspberry Leaf contains pure raspberry leaf, an herbal remedy thought to ease the pain of menstruation and soothe the uterus. Click here to purchase on Amazon.