What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a chronic condition which is characterized by a growth of the endometrial tissue in areas outside the uterine cavity. These areas can include the pelvic cavity or the ovaries. Common symptoms of the condition include dysmenorrhoea, pelvic pain, excessive bleeding and infertility. (1)
The main symptom attributed to endometriosis is the associated pain. This disorder develops when a layer of tissue that usually is found within the uterus grows outside instead. In many instances, the tissue may develop on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or any tissue around the uterus.
While the tissue is on the outside of the uterus and not on the inside, it still functions as it would in the uterus. During the menstrual cycle, the tissue thickens, deteriorates, and bleeds. However, the uterine tissues cannot leave the body. As a result, the tissue around the lining becomes inflamed, scarred, and irritated. When this happens, a woman experiences notable pain.
Essential oils can reduce the symptoms of endometriosis and significantly reduce the pain. While essential oils are not an outright cure, the condition can be managed better with the use of certain essential oils.
Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis
Some of the common signs that a woman may have endometriosis include the following:
- Recurring pelvic pain that ranges from mild to quite distressing. Women may experience severe stabbing pains or cramping. The pelvis, rectal area, legs, and lower back can all be affected. Pain is further categorized as dyspareunia (pain during intercourse), dysmenorrhea (enhanced pain during the menstrual cycle), and/or dysuria (severe pain during urination and frequent voiding).
- Excess bleeding. Because the uterine tissue is misplaced, a heavy period may be experienced. Women can also experience spotting between menses and see blood in the stool and urine. Vaginal bleeding often occurs after intercourse.
- Infertility. Endometriosis can cause problems with conception or fertility. Infertility is one of the early signs that a woman has endometriosis.
Other key signs that a woman suffers from endometriosis include the following:
- Body fatigue or tiredness
- Low-grade fevers
- Vomiting and nausea
- Painful periods lasting over a week
- Ovarian cysts
- Intestinal and bladder complications
Causes of Endometriosis
Doctors normally cannot explain the reasons or causes for progressive conditions such as endometriosis. Possible explanations for the condition include the following:
- Genetics. A predisposition toward endometriosis in families often is attributed to an increased risk.
- Environmental pollutants. Studies show that there is a connection between endometriosis and an exposure to dioxins. The relationship between the exposure and condition has not yet been determined. A dioxin is a toxic compound that is created in some manufacturing process, namely paper bleaching or herbicide manufacturing. Dioxins are considered serious environmental pollutants.
- Retrograde menses. The blood from a woman’s period flows back toward the fallopian tubes and inside the pelvic area instead of on the outside. As a result, the cells in the area continue to get thicker over time.
- C-sections, surgeries, or hysterectomies. During these procedures, the endometrial cells may affix themselves to an incision and continue to expand.
- An immune system sickness. It is also possible that an issue with immune system functioning can cause the body to have problems eliminating endometrial tissue. The lymphatic and blood systems can also direct the cells to other body parts.
Facts about Endometriosis
The risk of getting endometriosis is usually greater for women who begin their periods early. Women who have never given birth or who have shorter menses also are at an increased risk. A woman who experiences menopause later in life will be at an increased risk as well.
Women who have high estrogen levels often experience endometriosis as do women who have a low body mass index or BMI. The consumption of alcohol can lead to the development of endometriosis too. Uterine abnormalities are also blamed for the condition developing.
Prevention of endometriosis includes the administration of birth control pills. The long-term condition cannot be completely eliminated.
While there is no cure for the condition, there are several interventions that you can use to treat the problem. For example, pain medication, such as an anti-inflammatory NSAID, can reduce the pain. An immunomodulating medicine such as pentoxifylline has also been shown to help.
Some women opt for hormone treatments to treat endometriosis. Besides oral contraceptives, women may take medications, such as aromatase inhibitors, that block estrogen formation. Progestins or progesterone also reduce menstruation in a controlled manner.
Surgical treatments are used to control endometriosis. One of the minimally invasive procedures is called laparoscopy. During this procedure, the surgeon creates a small incision in the abdominal area and inserts a device known as a laparoscope to locate the endometrium and remove the tissue.
This treatment is normally used for women who still wish to have children as it does not remove the ovaries and uterus. Recurrence is still a risk when this method is used.
In severe cases of endometriosis, a surgical procedure known as a hysterectomy is advised. During this surgery, the uterus is removed. Women who opt for this surgery cannot have children after the completion of the procedure.
Essential Oils for Endometriosis
Essential oils or EOs can be used to treat the symptoms of endometriosis with some success. Not only is endometriosis devastating physically but it can also cause great emotional trouble a woman.
Essential oils may help keep a number of the symptoms under control and can help a woman who suffers from pelvic pain as well as fluid retention, internal bleeding and inflammation while certain essential oils can help women with the emotional stresses the condition can cause.
Usually, the oils are blended together and massaged over the pelvic area for pain relief. Many essential oils can also help ease the stress and anxiety caused by the condition. Before applying the essential oils topically, they should be diluted with a carrier oil. The following oils are considered excellent oils to use for this health issue.
Clary Sage Essential Oil
This oil will help you control the stress related to endometriosis. While there are no specific studies into the effects of clary sage oil on endometriosis, there have been encouraging results from other areas of research.
One study found that inhaling clary sage essential oil had beneficial effects on postmenopausal women. The researchers found that inhaling the oil resulted in significant reductions in cortisol levels as well as improvements in thyroid hormone health. (2)
This indicates that clary sage essential oil could help improve hormonal balance in women as well as easing the stress associated with endometriosis.
Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress essential oil is good for the circulation and therefore makes any bleeding less troublesome. Cypress essential oil may also help to boost fertility. Problems conceiving are common issue in women suffering from endometriosis.
Geranium Essential Oil
This essential oil is one of the best oils to use to eradicate the symptoms of endometriosis. You can also use this wonderful floral oil to support reproductive health.
According to research, the scent of geranium essential oil can relieve feelings of depression and anxiety while it may also help balance a woman’s hormones. One study found that the inhalation of geranium essential oil decreased anxiety by some 18%. (3) It may also help boost energy and act as a uterine tonic.
Ginger Essential Oil
This anti-inflammatory essential oil can assist in relieving pain and promotes circulation. If your condition is causing pain, try massaging some diluted ginger essential oil into the affected region and you should experience fast relief. Do not apply ginger essential oil to your skin undiluted since it may induce a reaction.
Frankincense Essential Oil
This essential oil is used to prevent fibroids and cysts and encourages the healthy circulation of blood. Frankincense essential oil can also help balance the endocrine system while its soothing aroma may also help women overcome any emotional trouble they are experiencing.
German Chamomile Essential Oil
German chamomile essential oil which is derived from the chamomile plant is synonymous with wellness and relaxation. Studies have revealed that it can help ease anxiety while many women also find that it provides support during menstruation. You can use this oil to help you relax and to support your reproductive health.
German chamomile essential oil also has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that may help treat some of the symptoms of the condition.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is especially well known for its ability to help ease emotional stress and anxiety. It also has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that can help with some of the physical symptoms of endometriosis.
Research has discovered that lavender oil does indeed have a positive effect on stress and anxiety as well as other symptoms of endometriosis like dysmenorrhoea. A study published back in 2006 analyzed the effects of the oil in combination with rose and clary sage essential oil. The research team found that when the oils were massaged into the abdomen, it helped to relieve dysmenorrhoea, abdominal cramps and pain. (4)
Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh essential oil is another popular choice of oil for women with endometriosis or other conditions related to women’s health. You can use myrrh oil to clear any uterine blockages and maintain regular periods.
Rose Otto Essential Oil
Rose otto essential oil is the last on our list. It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and may help to make the menstrual cycle more regular.
How to Use Essential Oils for Endometriosis
To help treat the symptoms of endometriosis, you can use any of the essential oils on their own or blend them with one or more other essential oils for even greater effect. The following blend is an excellent choice.
Mix 12 drops of geranium essential oil with six drops of clary sage essential oil. Add five drops of rose EO and 10 drops of nutmeg oil to the mix.
Apply the oils to the pelvic area or over the ovaries. Use the oil three times times each day for as long as necessary. This oil will help maintain a good hormone balance and keep the condition from getting increasingly worse.
Selecting the Right Carrier Oil
A carrier oil is added to dilute the mix or blend that you are creating. The most popular carrier oil is coconut oil. Coconut oil is ideal as it can be used for other ailments as a carrier oil.
It is the number-one favorite oil to choose if you want to dilute a mix. You might also consider using jojoba oil as a carrier oil. Using the carrier oil will make the other oils less irritating or reduce the chance that you might suffer an allergic reaction.
Other Home Remedies for Endometriosis
Heat : Heat in the form of heating pads or a hot water bottle is one of the simplest and most effective home remedies for the pain and cramp associated with endometriosis.
Castor Oil : Castor oil is a traditional remedy for cramps and pain. It can be applied to the abdomen as soon as you first feel pain and may help get rid of the excess tissue. This should be used before menstruation begins and not during menstruation. Combine the castor oil with an essential oil like lavender and massage it into your abdomen for greater effect.
Turmeric : Turmeric has outstanding anti-inflammatory properties that may well be beneficial to women with endometriosis. According to experts, turmeric may help manage the symptoms and may even inhibit the growth of endometrial tissue. Turmeric is available in supplementary capsule form but you can also use it to make a tea. It combines very well with ginger to make an extremely healthy ginger, turmeric tea.
Ginger Tea : Ginger is one of the best natural methods of dealing with nausea which many women with endometriosis experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use an essential oil blend for the best effect?
As noted, when applying an essential oil to the skin, you need to dilute the oil. Doing so will enable you to use the other oils without as much concern. Make sure that you do a small test on the site where you will be using the oil to make sure that you do not experience an allergic response. You should never ingest your essential oils and pregnant women should speak to their doctor before using them
What are natural remedies for endometriosis?
Apart from the essential oils mentioned in the article, there are a number of other good home treatments. These include heat, castor oil, turmeric, ginger tea and a pelvic massage. You should also try eating an anti-inflammatory diet and avoid processed foods, caffeine and alcohol.
Can endometriosis go away on its own?
In most cases, endometriosis will recede with the menopause while others find some relief during pregnancy. However, in some cases the condition can simply go away on its own. In fact around a third of women with a mild form of the condition will find that their symptoms resolve in time.
Can surgery cure endometriosis?
If the symptoms are especially severe, surgery may be necessary. Surgery may also be recommended where a woman does not respond to medical treatment.
If you wish to reduce the symptoms associated with endometriosis, you need to make sure that you choose oils that combat inflammation and that have been proven to alleviate the pain associated with the condition.
The above oils will do a wonderful job if they are applied correctly. Make sure that you are using oils that support your skin type. Once you find just the right blend, you can use the oils regularly.
Also, to ensure that the oils work, you may think of using them in combination with aromatherapy. Aromatherapy using essential oils will relieve the anxiety that is associated with painful menses.
Do all that you can to naturally treat the problem. That way, you can move forward with your life and do so without too much discomfort.
Take time today to review the above oils and create a blend for yourself. Doing so will give you the impetus you need to feel better about your condition and make some positive changes with respect to your health.
After you make a blend, start using it about a week before the beginning of your next period. Massage the mix into the abdomen and hip area to receive the best results.