As an endometriosis sufferer, I’m always looking for new ways to reduce my most persistent and painful symptoms. My special blend of pelvic pain, debilitating cramps and chronic fatigue are unremorseful about canceling plans at the last-minute or turning in at 7 p.m. on a Friday night. They have little interest in showering and are perfectly content wearing the same pair of sweats for days on end. No superfood, pill or exercise reduces my endo bloat, which is often mistaken for a little bun the oven. My stomach is angry as hell and wants the world to know there is nothing cute about endometriosis adhesions and scarring.
Every woman with endometriosis can describe exactly how she handles the painful flare-ups. With no known cause or cure for the disease, we are masterful at navigating days when standing upright is winning. For me, I swear by pelvic floor physical therapy, Reiki, acupuncture and yoga. And while my loved ones lend me their support, no one will ever get me like my heating pad does. I cry on him and twist his cord in knots, and he still wraps me in three glorious settings of electric warmth in a matter of minutes.
Because I am far from an outlier where endometriosis is concerned, we came up with a list of must-have creature comforts, natural pain relievers and spirit lifters. The women we spoke to have self-care and listening to their bodies down to a science. Anxiety reducers, healthy food, stuffed animals and connecting with other endo women on social media are also part of their daily care plan. And everyone is madly in love with their heating pad, so if you don’t already have one, we recommend investing in one stat. Ahead, nine products real women with endometriosis swear by.
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A version of this article was originally published in February 2019.