Self-Management in Endometriosis – An Australian Study

Endometriose im Unterbauch

Endometriosis can extend into the lower abdomen, resulting in persistent or chronic pain [2].

In an Australian study, researchers examined the strategies employed by women with endometriosis in their daily lives to alleviate pain and assessed the effectiveness of these approaches [1].

Endometriosis typically follows a chronic or recurrent course, characterized by the growth of cells and tissue resembling the endometrium outside the uterus, including locations such as the pelvic wall, peritoneum, ovaries, and other organs.

The primary treatment involves surgical removal (excision) of these growths. Hormonal therapy is also an option, although it mainly alleviates symptoms and may come with distressing side effects.

In cases of chronic pain, the experience can be further intensified by learned pain processes. Therefore, for individuals experiencing chronic pain, multimodal pain therapy is often recommended.

Self-management strategies have proven beneficial.

Zitrusfrüchte bei Endometriose wirksam

Citrus fruits have shown particular effectiveness in managing endometriosis.

Recent years have witnessed a growing body of scientific evidence highlighting the significance of ‘lifestyle changes’ – that is, measures that can be seamlessly integrated into daily routines—in significantly alleviating symptoms.

In an Australian study involving 484 women with surgically confirmed endometriosis, 76% of respondents reported the adoption of these strategies

What strategies do Australian women with endometriosis use?

Yoga bei Endometriose

Regelmäßiges Hatha Yoga war bereits bei einer anderen Studie als wirksam beschrieben worden.

Many Australian women with endometriosis employ various strategies in their daily lives to manage pain. The following measures were most frequently mentioned and reported:

  • Warmth (70%)
  • Rest (68%)
  • Meditation/breathing exercises (47%)
  • Dietary changes (44%)
  • Exercise (42%)
  • Stretching exercises (40 %)
  • Yoga/Pilates (35%)
  • Massage (32 %)
  • Herbs (16 %)
  • Alcohol (14 %)
  • Acupressure (8 %)
  • Cold (5 %)
  • Hemp oil/CBD oil (3 %)

Effective Strategies for Managing Endometriosis Symptoms


Wärme hilft kurzfristig Krämpfe zu lösen und Schmerzen zu lindern.

In the surveys, participants reported that all of these measures reduced pain, whether in the short or long term.

Improvement was assessed on a scale ranging from 0 (no improvement) to 10 (complete relief).

Den größten Effekt auf Schmerzen und Schmerzmedikation hatten

  • Heat
  • Healthy diet (not differentiated by type, such as FODMAP, gluten-free, vegan, etc.)
  • CBD oil
  • Relaxation techniques and acupressure

Slightly less effective but still having a pain-relieving effect were:

  • Yoga/Pilates
  • Meditation
  • Exercise

It is worth noting that some participants also found relief from pain through alcohol consumption. However, it is essential to discourage the use of alcohol for pain management due to its high health risks and the potential for undesirable side effects.

Reasons Why No Action Was Taken

24% of the women reported not implementing any self-management measures in their daily lives. The cited reasons included a lack of information, time constraints, and difficulties accessing such measures. Among this group, a quarter of the women who had not taken any measures had attempted to do so in the past without achieving success.


Self-management of endometriosis cannot cure the condition but can significantly alleviate pain. In an Australian study involving 484 participants, various self-management strategies, including heat, dietary changes, yoga, meditation, and more, proved effective in reducing pain, and, consequently, lessening the need for pain medication.

The critical takeaway is to identify the most suitable strategies for your needs and take the initial steps to manage your condition.


Armour M, Sinclair J, Chalmers KJ, Smith CA. Self-management strategies amongst Australian women with endometriosis: a national online survey. BMC Complement Altern Med [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2020 May 4];19(1):17. Available from:
Gonçalves AV, Barros NF, Bahamondes L. The Practice of Hatha Yoga for the Treatment of Pain Associated with Endometriosis. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2020 May 13];23(1):45–52. Available from:
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Dr. med. Nadine Rohloff