Endometriosis can cause painful periods, cramps, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Home remedies may help ease endometriosis pain by controlling inflammation, relaxing the muscles, and improving overall health.

Endometriosis occurs when tissue that resembles the uterine lining grows elsewhere in the body. This tissue may, for example, form on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowel, or bladder.

Endometrial tissue gets thicker at the start of a period and sheds during it. In someone with endometriosis, the endometrial-like tissue elsewhere in the body also starts to drop away during this time. This can cause pain and cramping, and scar tissue may form.

While there is no cure for this condition, some treatments and home remedies can relieve the pain and discomfort.

This article discusses nine home remedies for endometriosis symptoms, as well as what to avoid, available treatments, and more.

A person might find that the following techniques help reduce the pain and other symptoms of endometriosis.

1. Heat

Taking a warm bath or placing a heating pad or hot water bottle on the lower abdomen can help relax cramping pelvic muscles and reduce pain.

This is common remedy for menstrual cramps that may offer immediate relief for some people with endometriosis.

2. Pelvic massage

Pelvic massage may ease endometriosis-related pain. Manipulation of the pelvis and lower back may increase blood flow to the area, relaxing it and reducing pain associated with scar tissue from this condition.

3. Over-the-counter pain relievers

Pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) are examples of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are available over the counter.

NSAIDs can help reduce inflammation, which may relieve cramping and pain.

Before taking over-the-counter medications, particularly for long periods, speak with a healthcare professional about a safe dosage.

4. Dietary changes

Altering the diet may reduce endometriosis symptoms, though identifying the most effective changes requires more research.

However, minimizing the consumption of red meat and increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help improve overall health.

Some experts recommend an elimination diet. This involves eating no foods that tend to cause inflammation, then reintroducing them one by one to determine which are problematic.

Potentially problematic foods are heavily processed or contain:

  • dairy
  • gluten
  • sugars

Keeping a food diary and tracking symptoms can also help a person identify any foods that may worsen symptoms.

Can a gluten-free diet improve endometriosis symptoms?

There is some evidence that a gluten-free diet may help reduce pain associated with endometriosis.

In a 2021 study, 75% of the 156 participants with endometriosis who had a gluten-free diet for 12 months reported an improvement in their symptoms.

The Endometriosis Foundation of America also reports that cutting out gluten may help reduce endometriosis pain.

To follow a gluten-free diet, a person should not eat grains such as wheat, rye, or barley. These are in many processed foods and products such as bread, pasta, and desserts, though gluten-free options may be available.

5. Rest

During the day, taking a few minutes to rest, such as by practicing deep breathing, taking a walk, or listening to music, may help reduce stress.

Also, getting enough sleep is crucial. Not doing so can cause changes in hormone levels, inflammation, and pain.

6. Herbal supplements

Certain herbal supplements might help reduce endometriosis symptoms.

Some research has found that white peony, licorice, and a mix of Sea buckthorn and St. John’s wort may provide some pain relief for people with endometriosis.

It is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor supplements for quality, dosage, or purity. Some companies rely on third-party lab testing to vet their supplements. However, it is crucial to speak with a doctor before taking any supplement and buy from reputable sources.

Can turmeric cure endometriosis?

Some practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine use a variety of herbs to provide pain relief. While it cannot cure endometriosis, turmeric, for example, has anti-inflammatory properties.

A turmeric supplement may help ease endometriosis-related pain. The supplements are in capsule form, and many people consume turmeric in teas and meals.

7. Omega-3 fatty acids

Some research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent the tissue that characterizes endometriosis from forming. Fatty fish, such as salmon, contain these acids, and there are also some vegan and vegetarian sources. A person can take them as a daily supplement.

8. CBD Oil

Manufacturers derive cannabidiol (CBD) oil from the cannabis plant. Depending on the product, it may contain no or only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in the plant that produces a “high.”

CBD oil may help ease pain associated with endometriosis. In a 2017 study, researchers found that CB1 and CB2 antagonists may have therapeutic benefits for people with endometriosis pain.

A person can find CBD oil in a variety of products, including creams, ointments, and oral supplements. However, the legality varies by state, so check local laws before making a purchase.

Learn more about CBD oil for pain management.

9. Light exercise

Regular exercise helps release endorphins. These “feel good” hormones can help reduce pain.

Regular physical activity may also:

  • curb inflammation
  • reduce fatigue and brain fog
  • ease constipation
  • improve overall health
  • boost mobility

However, a 2020 study found that people with endometriosis may have reduced lower back strength, flexibility, and balance, and overall less ability to stay physically active than people without the condition.

The researchers concluded that exercise, especially physical therapy, can help improve overall physical health and reduce some related pain, such as lower back pain, for people with endometriosis.

In a small study, researchers noted that pelvic floor exercises helped reduce the pain associated with the condition.

Still, determining the effects of exercise, including pelvic floor exercises, on endometriosis pain requires more research.

People with endometriosis may benefit from medical treatments to reduce pain and other symptoms.

Treatments for endometriosis that a doctor may recommend include:

  • hormone therapy, such as hormonal birth control
  • surgical treatments
  • pain medications, such as prescription NSAIDs

Limiting the consumption of certain foods may help reduce symptoms and limit their future severity. Some foods a person may wish to avoid include:

  • gluten
  • caffeine
  • alcohol
  • soy products
  • dairy products
  • red meat
  • nonorganic foods
  • sweets
  • high fat foods
  • heavily processed foods

The exact cause is not known, but the causes may involve:

  • the immune system
  • complications of surgery
  • the flow of periods
  • inherited genes
  • levels of estrogen

Symptoms of endometriosis vary. One person may be unaware that they have it, while another may have symptoms so severe that they need to stay in bed for several days each month.

Regular checkups are important during treatment. A person should report new symptoms and any changes in their periods to a doctor.

The doctor will likely evaluate new or worsening pelvic pain by:

  • taking a detailed history
  • performing a physical exam, including a pelvic exam
  • possibly ordering an ultrasound to view the pelvic organs.

The next step may be laparoscopy. This involves a surgeon using a thin scope to look for endometrial implants and other potential causes of symptoms.

Endometriosis can cause difficulty getting pregnant, and anyone planning a pregnancy may want to consult a fertility doctor. Some treatments for endometriosis can also impact fertility.

Below, find answers to some common questions about endometriosis.

What happens if endometriosis goes untreated?

Not all people respond well to the same treatments, and not all treatments work well for everyone. For example, people who want to become pregnant should avoid hormonal treatments.

If the growths expand unchecked, this can lead to:

  • inflammation
  • scar tissue, which can cause pelvic pain and infertility
  • bladder and intestinal complications
  • fallopian tube blockage
  • the formation of ovarian cysts

Where do people feel endometriosis pain?

A person with endometriosis may have pain:

  • after or during sex
  • during a menstrual period
  • during bowel movements
  • in the intestinal area
  • in the lower back or pelvic area

The pain during a period may involve severe cramping and painful urination.

What triggers endometriosis pain?

Some possible triggers can include:

  • stress
  • sexual intercourse
  • periods
  • certain foods, which we describe in more detail above

Can you cure endometriosis naturally?

There is no cure for endometriosis. Natural and home remedies may help ease the symptoms, and a doctor can describe the risks and possible benefits of medical treatments.

Is there a way to reduce the number of endometriosis growths?

To do this, a person would likely need to have the growths surgically removed. This is an option that the doctor may suggest.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition. There is no cure, but home remedies and professional treatments may help ease the symptoms and prevent complications.

While the home remedies above are often useful, a doctor can recommend additional approaches to managing the symptoms.