Endometriosis: Prevention


Endometriosis is a disorder that affects 190 million girls and women worldwide between the ages of 15 and 49 (reproductive age). It is characterised by a wide range of symptoms, ranging from moderate to severe. The question is, can endometriosis be prevented? The answer is largely dependent on your level of awareness about the condition. 

This article will explain endometriosis, describe its symptoms, and discuss ways to prevent and manage the condition.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease that is distinguished by the presence of tissue resembling the endometrium (uterine lining) outside the womb. It is a complex disease with no known cause. 

Endometriosis may be caused by any of the following factors, according to several hypotheses.

  • Retrograde menstruation; Retrograde menstruation refers to the backward flow of menstrual blood from the uterus into the pelvic cavity via the fallopian tubes. This can cause endometrium cells to be collected outside the womb, where they can eventually implant and grow
  • Cellular metaplasia is the process by which cells transform from one form to another. Cells outside the uterus may transform into endometrial-like cells and begin to multiply
  • Hormonal imbalance; oestrogen is one of the main sex and reproductive hormones in women. Hormonal imbalance occurs when oestrogen levels fluctuate, especially when they rise. Evidence suggests that women with endometriosis have higher oestrogen levels, which can affect endometrial tissue outside of the uterus and cause pain and swelling¹


The symptoms of endometriosis vary from one person to another. They include one or the combination of the following; 

  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Persisting pelvic pain
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Painful urination
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Heavy or abnormal menstrual flow

Preventing endometriosis

There is currently no known way to prevent endometriosis, but possibly in the future once the causes of endometriosis are understood. 

Endometriosis awareness, early diagnosis, and being aware of the symptoms and whether you may be at higher risk can help you determine your next cause of action. 

Most common risk factors

According to research, some factors increase a woman's risk of developing endometriosis, such as:

  • Having your first period too early
  • Having a relative who has endometriosis
  • Heavy periods lasting more than 7 days
  • Shorter menstrual cycles; i.e less than 27 days
  • According to some studies, having a low body mass index may increase a woman's risk of endometriosis²

While the above factors increase a woman's risk of having endometriosis, the following factors reduce her risk;

  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Eating fruits
  • Having your first period after age 14³

Managing symptoms of endometriosis

Endometriosis is a lifelong condition without a cure. Hence, it is recommended to manage the persisting symptoms you may be experiencing. 

The following are a few ways to manage endometriosis; 

Lowering oestrogen levels

This is achieved through hormone treatment. The goal of hormonal therapy is to lower oestrogen levels in your body by controlling or halting the production of oestrogen, as high oestrogen levels promote the growth and shedding of the endometrial tissue.   

Recent research indicates that lowering oestrogen levels is effective in the management of endometriosis.¹ As a result, if you are experiencing symptoms of hormonal fluctuation and endometriosis, such as unexplained weight gain, painful or abnormal periods, and mood swings, consult your doctor to determine the underlying causes and obtain the appropriate treatment plan.

Pain relief

The pain associated with endometriosis symptoms can be excruciating. Here are a few ways to alleviate any pain you may be feeling:

  • Use pain medications; over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are helpful
  • Heat; warm baths and a heating pad can aid in relieving the pelvic muscles, reducing cramping and pain
  • Pelvic massage; According to research, massaging the pelvic muscles can help reduce cramping and pain in general

Reducing systemic inflammation

Systemic inflammation occurs when the immune system is continually protecting the body as a result of several underlying factors. 

One of the factors that cause endometriosis is inflammation, which involves cell growth. Endometriosis is characterised by a chronic inflammatory response that can result in the production of scar tissue in the pelvis and other areas of the body.

The following are some methods for reducing inflammation: 

  • Consume anti-inflammatory foods; your diet has a significant impact on your general health and can also assist in the management of systemic inflammatory disorders such as endometriosis. Eat anti-inflammatory vegetables and fruits such as celery, olive oil, ginger, rosemary, grapes, blueberries, and garlic
  • Exercise regularly. At least 20 minutes of exercise every day may help reduce inflammation, according to research. Try to exercise on a regular basis to enjoy the anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Manage stress. Chronic inflammation can be caused by long-term stress. As a result, stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, and music therapy are essential


Endometriosis is a chronic illness with no cure. Several factors contribute to it, including reverse or retrograde menstruation and hormonal imbalance. Though there is no known prevention method for endometriosis, being aware of your risk factors and strategies to reduce your risk can be beneficial. The good news is endometriosis can be treated by treating the associated symptoms with hormone therapy, dietary changes, pain medications, and stress management. 

If any of the aforementioned management recommendations do not prove successful, visit your doctor.


  1. Chantalat E, Valera MC, Vaysse C, Noirrit E, Rusidze M, Weyl A, et al. Estrogen receptors and endometriosis. Int J Mol Sci [Internet]. 2020 Apr 17 [cited 2022 Nov 11];21(8):2815. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7215544/
  2. Farland LV, Missmer SA, Bijon A, Gusto G, Gelot A, Clavel-Chapelon F, et al. Associations among body size across the life course, adult height and endometriosis. Hum Reprod [Internet]. 2017 Aug [cited 2022 Nov 11];32(8):1732–42. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5850750/
  3. Endometriosis [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 11]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/endometriosis
  4. Valiani M, Ghasemi N, Bahadoran P, Heshmat R. The effects of massage therapy on dysmenorrhea caused by endometriosis. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2022 Nov 11];15(4):167–71. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3093183/
  5. Endometriosis [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 11]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/endometriosis
  6. Exercise … it does a body good: 20 minutes can act as anti-inflammatory [Internet]. UC Health - UC San Diego. [cited 2022 Nov 11]. Available from: https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/pages/2017-01-12-exercise-can-act-as-anti-inflammatory.aspx 

Amanda Yad-El Ugboji

Bachelors of science Public- Bsc Public health, Babcock University, Nigeria

Amanda is a public health entrepreneur and content creator with a strong passion for health communications.
She enjoys using her skills to contribute to projects aiming for sustainable health for all and equity. Related to this, Amanda is passionate about public health education.
She has two years of experience as a freelance writer, and her other skills include writing, blogging and public speaking."

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