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Yoga & Endometriosis

Endometriosis affects as many as 6% of the general population. Endometriosis is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant. While some women with endometriosis remain asymptomatic, others experience dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, non-cyclical pelvic pain, and subfertility. Now, new research indicates that patients with endometriosis are also more likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease.

Every month, a woman’s ovaries produce hormones that tell the cells lining the uterus (womb) to swell and get thicker. The body removes these extra cells from the womb lining (endometrium) when you get your period.

If these cells (called endometrial cells) implant and grow outside the uterus, endometriosis results. The growths are called endometrial tissue implants. Women with endometriosis typically have tissue implants on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and on the lining of the pelvic area. They can occur in other areas of the body, too.

Unlike the endometrial cells found in the uterus, the tissue implants outside the uterus stay in place when you get your period. They sometimes bleed a little bit. They grow again when you get your next period. This ongoing process leads to pain and other symptoms of endometriosis.

Although endometriosis is typically diagnosed between ages 25 – 35, the condition probably begins about the time that regular menstruation begins.

 Pain is the main symptom of endometriosis. A woman suffering with endometriosis may have:

Note: There may be no symptoms. Some women with a large number of tissue implants in their pelvis have no pain at all, while some women with milder disease have severe pain.

How can Yoga Help?

Yoga therapy has been found to alleviate symptoms associated with endometriosis and is often a beneficial option for those seeking to complement or reduce the use of endometriosis medication.

Yoga can help alleviate common endometriosis symptoms, namely, pain. Women with endometriosis can experience such pain-related symptoms as painful periods, pelvic pain and pain during intercourse. It can also help to alleviate fertility problems that are a result of endometriosis.

Yoga, when and if practiced religiously can minimize pain by helping the pain centre located in the brain to stabilize the gate-controlling mechanism that is found in the spinal cord, as well as the secretion of painkillers that are naturally released by the body.

Breathing exercises are used in yoga to help minimize pain since deep exhalation promotes relaxation, while reducing tension. Increased awareness of breathing also helps alleviate pain associated with endometriosis while promoting calm and overall mental and physical health. In addition, reduced stress levels have been linked to improved fertility.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

This Yoga Pose improves spinal flexibility and strengthens the muscles in the arms and back. In addition, it is effective in relieving menstrual irregularities and constipation.


Anuloma Viloma

It would be better to counterbalance a vigorous practice with poses that soften, relax, and open the pelvis. Consider getting screened for endometriosis if your mother or sister has been diagnosed with endometriosis, or if you are unable to become pregnant after trying for 1 year.


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