Living with Endometriosis

Young woman suffering from pain at home; blog: Living with EndometriosisDuring the month of March, we’re taking time to focus on Endometriosis Awareness Month and honor the millions of women and girls who suffer from endometriosis, an often misunderstood and painful disorder.

Endometriosis is caused when tissue found inside the uterus grows outside of it, usually on other reproductive organs and sometimes the bladder and bowel. Living with endometriosis can make everyday life difficult, and complicate major life decisions, including having children. Many women living with this condition suffer daily with constant pain. 

We’re here to tell you you don’t have to suffer if you are living with endometriosis. And if you have not been diagnosed and may suspect that you have endometriosis, please give us a call. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Painful periods
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain during bowel movements or urination
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility
  • Other signs and symptoms: fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating/nausea

Living with endometriosis can be exhausting. It can take some trial and error, experimenting, and a mix of strategies before you find what works best for you. While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are steps you can take to improve your quality of life and lessen the pain. We’ve outlined ten steps you can take to ease your symptoms. 

  • Heat Therapy. Try using two heating pads: one for your lower back and one for your stomach. This easy remedy can relax pelvic muscles and reduce cramping. We recommend using them in 20-minute intervals. You can also try soaking in a hot bath to immerse your entire body at once. If you’re on the go, stock-up on heat wraps that last for eight hours. 
  • Tweak Your Diet. Research suggests a link between diets that are low in fruit and vegetables and high in red meat will increase your risk of endometriosis. The high-fat content of red meat encourages the production of more estrogen that can cause excess endometrial tissue growth. 
  • Decrease Inflammation. Omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the risk of endometriosis. Studies suggest that women who consume more omega-3 fatty acids are 22% less likely to develop endometriosis. Types of foods to look for are seafood, dark green veggies, bright red fruits, and whole foods. 
  • Increase Blood Circulation. Probably the last thing you want to do when you’re in pain is exercise. However, exercise can reduce your symptoms in many ways. By increasing blood circulation to your organs you’ll increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients. In addition, physical activity decreases estrogen production, reduces stress and releases endorphins which are pain-relieving. 
  • Promote Relaxation. Living with the pain caused by endometriosis can contribute to high levels of stress. Experiment with different relaxation techniques that can help you when you start to feel overwhelmed. Learn meditation to clear your mind. Or enroll in yoga or tai chi class to gently stretch your muscle and calm your thoughts. 
  • Remember Your Vitamin. Deficiencies in vitamin D, A, C, and beta-carotene could play a role in endometriosis. If you have a hard time remembering to take your vitamins, try keeping them in a location that you’re sure to see them every day (i.e. coffee pot, bedside table).
  • Book A Massage. A gentle massage may help resolve pelvic pain by releasing tension and allowing better blood flow. It can be a great way to soothe sore muscles and help you relax. 
  • Get Connected. Connecting with other women who are living with endometriosis can be empowering. There is an entire community of women who have endometriosis on Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter. Another option is to download the mobile app Flo to track your symptoms and chat anonymously with others. Also, ask your doctor about local in-person support groups. 
  • Dietary Supplements. There are dietary supplements that can address specific symptoms such as gastrointestinal, immunity, and muscular. It’s important to talk to your doctor before you take any dietary supplements as some can have negative interactions with prescription drugs. Make sure to bring all your medications and supplements to your next appointment. 
  • Treatment Options. We can provide you with a list of treatment options and help you weigh the risk and benefits of each one. Be sure to tell us all the treatments you’ve had in the past and if/when you would like to become pregnant. Options range from over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to hormone therapy. If none of the above are helping to manage your endometriosis symptoms, surgery may be something to discuss at your next appointment.

While living with endometriosis can challenge you, both physically and emotionally, don’t let it define you. The staff at Triangle Physicians for Women are here to help.

If you have questions, give us a call at (919) 678-6900 to book an appointment at one of our offices in Cary or Holly Springs.

I think Dr. Grana and her assistant (Mandy) are the best. I have been going to TP4W for years – at least 20, and I have never been disappointed with the level of care I have received. I can be a challenge as my level for pain tolerance is low and they put up with me! I can’t help but highly recommend the practice to anyone looking for exemplary women’s healthcare.

Love love love Dr. Grana and her crew. Love going to Holly Springs office. The girls are the best from Lisa at the front desk to all the girls in the back. Your music and atmosphere is great. Thanks for making these appointments fun!! Yes believe it or not, fun!!!

Dr V and the office staff were all very professional, understanding, caring and very efficient. I would be happy to recommend this practice to friends, family and associates. – Barbara M. Lucas

My visit was great! & my past visit have all been great.Kristy helped me even with me being a bit stressed & in a hurry because I had to be seen & my job is super strict. Her urgency to get me seen was phenomenal. I even got to see Heather, she’s awesome & amazing. She helped deliver my baby girl a year ago. My whole family loves her and Dr Sheshadri. We actually can’t wait to get pregnant again hahaha. Everyone treats you with respect and always makes sure your okay & answers whatever questions you have before you leave. Even leaving a message for the nurses,they get back to you so quickly.  This practice really makes you feel taken care of.  We appreciate you all!  – Erika Hooks

My experience with the TP4W staff has been top of the line.  They helped me through three pregnancies and coached me through every step of the way.  Eternally thankful I chose TP4W.  – Britney

TP4W have such amazing doctors, midwives and nurses.  I cannot say enough about Dr. Grana and the rest of the staff for all the help, advice, guidance and medical care they provided me with all of my kids.  She made me feel safe and calm through both c-sections.  My routine care and pregnancy care have always been top notch and I would recommend them to anyone looking for an OBGYN.  – Brooke

We were honored to receive a hand written note..

Dr. Grana, Angie, Jessica, Heather, April, Sarah and the rest of the staff –

Thank you all so much for taking such good care of me through both of my pregnancies and births, especially my latest one on 10/29! most of yall know how nervous I was from having gone through a lot (to say the least) with my first in 2016. You all made me feel so comfortable and at ease before, during and after. And going through a touch year with my dad, you guys always asked how he was doing at every appointment, which was so thoughtful and beyond your job description. I know that you all see many women go through what i did each and every day and deliver many babies and perform many c-sections. But I hope you know how special Ruby’s delivery was to me. You all have amazing jobs! I cannot thank you all enough. Merry Christmas!

Love, Lucy

I have been going to TP4W since 2010/11 and could not be happier.

The staff, nurses, midwives, and doctors are all amazing. I have 2 sons, both delivered via cesarean by Dr. V. Every visit and every provider did everything in their power to give me the birth experience I wanted, and also ensure that myself and my babies were safe and healthy. Dr. V even did everything in his power to help me avoid my first c-section and VBAC with the second, but that turned out to be out of his hands and he was the absolute best surgeon. With my two pregnancies, I experienced a few scares and some unusual circumstances that would be too long and too private to write in a review, but every single hurdle was handled with grace, honesty, and professionalism. I am so thankful for the recommendation from a friend to come to this office. I can’t imagine ever going to another practice.

TP4W is amazing and I am so very thankful I found them 9 years ago!! Amazing partnership between midwives and doctors, sweet nurses and front end staff, and relaxing environment. I literally recommend them to all my friends! I look forward to my appointments and feel like I’m going to catch up with old friends.

I’ve always had wonderful experiences at TP4W. Everyone is friendly, knowledgeable, and thorough in their care. April delivered my son and I can’t say enough wonderful things about her. She is patient and compassionate. I had the best labor and delivery experience thanks to her. I do and will continue to recommend them to my friends and family!