Endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects 6-10% of women of reproductive age worldwide. It is one of the obscure women’s health conditions which is characterized by the implantation of functioning endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity.

Endometriosis is associated with a broad range of symptoms including dysmenorrhoea (menstrual pain) ,dyspareunia (pain during intercourse), chronic intermenstrual pelvic pain, and Infertility. 

In my clinic, I follow an integrated Ayurvedic and Holistic Nutrition approach that can help you manage various symptoms of endometriosis to reduce pain and inflammation and promote fertility using diet, lifestyle remedies, herbs and supplements that help estrogen detoxification.


In this article we will discuss

  1. What is endometriosis?

  2. Signs and Symptoms?

  3. Causes

  4. Complications

  5. Ayurvedic Approach to Managing Endometriosis


  1. What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic non malignant uterine disease that can affect women in their reproductive years. The word endometriosis comes from the word endometrium or the ‘lining membrane inside the uterus’. 

“Endo” implies inside, and “metra” means uterus or womb. This lining grows inside the uterus each month and then bleeds away as menstrual blood during each menstrual period. 

Endometriosis is a condition where small pieces of endometrial tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside of the uterus. This displaced tissue continues to act like endometrium would under the influence of female hormones - it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. 

Since this displaced tissue cannot exit or your body, it often gets trapped causing pain, local inflammation causing adhesions or scarring. 

This endometrial tissue can lodge in the following areas

  1. Ovaries(the most common site)

  2. Fallopian tubes

  3. Back of the uterus

  4. Front of the uterus

  5. Uterine ligaments such as the broad or round ligament of the uterus

  6. Pelvic walls

  7. Intestines

  8. Urinary bladder and ureters

2. Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis

Following are some of the most common endometriosis symptoms

  • Dysmenorrhoea (painful periods)

  • Dyspareunia (painful sex)

  • Pain or dull ache during ovulation

  • Pelvic pain between periods

  • Pain during bowel movement

  • Heavy bleeding with clots and mucus

  • Bleeding between periods

  • Difficulty getting pregnant (infertility)

  • Depression and tiredness

  • Other symptoms like small lump in the umbilicus and pain below the ribs

Other symptoms like diarrhoea or constipation, chronic fatigue, nausea or vomiting, headache, low grade fever, and hypoglycemia may be present


The pain associated with endometriosis can range from mild to severe, the character of the pain can be severe cramping, stabbing, throbbing, gnawing or dragging pain that occurs in the pelvic region. This pain can radiate to the lower back, rectal area and even down the legs. 

In addition to pain during menstruation, the pain of endometriosis can occur at other times of the month. Pain can start a week before menstrual period, during and even a week after menstrual period or it can be constant. Pain may occur during general bodily movements like exercise, standing or walking and with intercourse.

3. Causes

The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but the following are possible theories that can cause endometriosis. 

  • Problems with menstrual period flow: Retrograde menstrual flow is the most likely cause of endometriosis. Some of the tissue shed during the period flows through the fallopian tube into other areas of the body, such as the pelvis.

  • Genetic factors:  Endometriosis runs in families, so it could possibly be inherited in the genes.

  • Immune system problems: A faulty immune system may fail to find and destroy endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus. Immune system disorders and certain cancers are more common in women with endometriosis.

  • Hormones: The hormone estrogen can promote endometriosis. Research is looking at whether endometriosis is a problem with the body's hormone system.

  • Surgery: During a surgery to the abdominal area, such as a Cesarean (C-section) or hysterectomy, endometrial tissue could be picked up and moved by mistake. For instance, endometrial tissue has been found in abdominal scars.


4. Complications

Infertility- Infertility or inability to conceive even after trying for a year is a common result of endometriosis and seen in 30-50% of women experiencing it. Even so, many women with mild to moderate endometriosis can still conceive and carry a pregnancy to term.

Cancer - Endometriosis can increase the risk of ovarian cancer or another type of a rare cancer known as endometriosis-associated adenocarcinoma.


5. Ayurvedic Approach to Managing Endometriosis


In Ayurveda, endometriosis treatment correlates with a type of gynecological disease called ‘Udaavartini’. The presence of painful and delayed menstruation, relief of symptoms after menstrual flow and retrograde menstruation are symptoms of Udaavartini. 

According to Ayurveda, Vata dosha is responsible for all the movements in our mind and body. There are 5 subtypes of this Vata dosha that perform particular functions eg. Prana vayu controls breathing, thoughts, Udana Vayu governs speech, Samana Vayu aids digestion, Vyana vayu aids circulation and Apana Vayu is responsible for all the movements in the pelvic region- elimination of urine and faces. In women, this Apana vayu also helps shedding of endometrium and passage of menstrual blood out of the body causing menstrual cycles as well as release of egg from ovaries.

In Endometriosis, there is a severe imbalance in Apana vayu that can be understood due to retrograde movement of menstrual blood, severe pain and cramping etc. This Apana vayu can further aggravate the two doshas like Pitta causing heavy bleeding, Kapha  causing various endometrial tissue growths in places other than uterus.

So, the first step in endometriosis management is to correct the Vata imbalance; especially Apana imbalance along with rebalancing Pitta and Kapha doshas. 

A personalized anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle plan specifically created to balance Vata dosha in your body are crucial to managing Endometriosis along with specific Vata balancing herbs which can redirect the retrograde Apana calming the agitated reproductive system. This can help manage the condition by reducing its symptoms and promoting fertility.


Suffering from Endometriosis??? Book a free 15 consultation with Vd. Manjiri Nadkarni, MD (Ayurveda), RHN who specializes in women’s hormonal health by clicking the link below.