Endo diet tips

Hello ladies,

This is such a great forum - I've found so much reassurance, wise words and good advice on your posts - thank you

I'd love your thoughts on diet to minimise endo returning post lap as I really want to conceive naturally and avoid ivf if I can.

I'm only recently diagnosed (large cyst on my right ovary on scan, nodules on physical exam) and having my first lap next week to remove as much as possible whilst protecting / helping fertility (I'm lucky that my local hospital is a bgse centre).

I think they're only going to drain the cyst and won't touch what they suspect is on the bowel for now to protect fertility as much as they can - I'm 37. I know it's likely the cyst will eventually re-fill and they want me to get pregnant as quickly as possible (as do I!) ideally naturally but they're putting me on the waiting list for Ivf too.

I'd like to try the diet to give us the best chance to conceive naturally post Lap, and to reduce the symptoms/pain etc that I currently have.

My questions are:

Do you think diet changes have made a big difference to your endo?

Is there a diet book you recommend?

It's a bit overwhelming to imagine cutting out everything I've seen listed (I love broccoli but a girl can't live in that alone!) Are there things that you know make a huge difference eg red meat but somethings that make less difference eg dairy

Can organic make a difference to keeping it on the "good" list? Eg dairy, or grass fed meat?

Thanks ladies- You are all such experts and I'd be so grateful for you advice


11 Replies

  • I would love to hear how others have changed their diets as well, it's something I want to do but find it so daunting with the amount of foods to be excluded 😞 I was thinking of just cutting out wheat first & seeing if that helped...... Good luck with everything Joeytheroo x

  • It's not as daunting as you might think. Perhaps the idea of it is worse than the reality. Saying that it probably depends on the individual and the type of foods you eat prior to the diet.

    I bought a book by Henrietta Norton which someone recommended on this site and its made a big difference to me. I'm 6 months in now and although I still have the tiredness and flare ups on a couple of occasions, it's so much better than pre endo diet. Her advise is not preachy, nor does she say you need to follow everything, its more about working out what's manageable for you and making those differences. Her explanation about endo as a condition and how your liver processes everything that goes in your body also had a big impact om how I view the illness and was part of my motivation to drink that 1.5 litres of water a day and to cut out caffeine.

    All I can tell you is that it has worked for me so I hope you find one to work for you too. It might not work for everyone, as we know endo is individual to the woman, but without trying you'll never know.

    Good luck : )

  • I've read a few books on endo diet and indeed once it was explained scientifically then it made a lot of sense. I cut out red meat, wheat, caffeine, all processed foods and bovine diary. Also I try to eat organic as much as possible. My periods have changed dramatically since with clear changes in the bleeding pattern (blood is red and liquid rather thank black and clotty) and the pain has also improved. I am still quite ill and still disabled for 2 days in the month but the pain it's just much more bearable. The diet is not that hard once you start it because there are so many tasty alternatives and I soon got used to it.

    Also it might be worth considering seeing a nutritionist to Taylor your diet to your own needs. Im taking also loads of supplements as I am also hoping to get pregnant and I must say since I started the supplements it made a huge difference to my mental state as I have been so depressed but my head is in a better place now and I am sure it is because of the supplements. It's all a chemical/hormonal imbalance and finding the balance through diet and supplements I think it can help enormously.

    Good luck with everything and all the best! x

  • Hi there,

    I'd definitely advocate the Endo diet - esp. Cutting out red meat and dairy. Wheat is a tough one - try switching to brown bread and pasta etc. Make healthier choices.


    I'd also recommend losing as much excess weight as poss as fat cells increase circulating oestrogen in the body which stimulates Endo. I tried weight watchers app which was very good. Pain reduced and creates a better uterine environment for embryo implantation when Endo less active.

    When ttc there were a number of extra things that helped. We got preg quickly despite stage 4 Endo/adenomyosis, so there are positive stories too.

    - acupuncture

    - both hubby and I cut out alcohol completely and took vitabiotics pre conception vitamins. (Alcohol increases chance of chromosomal malformation and thus mc, also 3-8 wks critical to early brain development in embryo)

    - cut out caffeine, discovered peppermint tea fab for Endo

    - cut out much of the medication I was taking, this was tough!! Even paracetamol use of 3+ weeks throughout preg is linked to probs in babies, particularly males. So had to do it! Horrible for the first few months, acupuncture, determination and getting preg quickly helped (had 2 mc before successful preg too)

    - bbt tracking, used both my days app and paper tracker (advice and blank chart in link)


    We found it difficult to have frequent sex, only 4-6 times per month due to pain at a push. So were strategic! £10 thermometer better investment than ovulation tests - so expensive and I found them to be largely inaccurate.

    - on the more fun side, orgasms before and after are meant to help too. As does staying lying down for at least 20 min after.

    - you probably have this already (my gp gave me it when ttc)


    I know that's a lot more info than you asked for! But every little helps!! When we were trying I was booked for surgery with risk of hyst so researched everything under the sun so we could get preg quickly, avoiding surgery/ivf and reducing pain!

    Wishing you lots of luck, you will enjoy the diet, you don't miss the stuff half as much after about a week, focus on your goals xx

  • Hi,

    regarding the weight loss. I have lost a lot of weight during the last two years, it was slow and healthy weight loss due to more exercise and better choices in food. I am quite thin now, but my weight is within normal healthy range. When I complained to a doctor (a gynaecologist in a hospital) about my painful bowel movements, she said that's because I'm thin. Sounded like nonsense but is it possible that losing weight can actually make you more sensitive to what happens in your belly, therefore making some symptoms worse?

  • Thanks Lucy - that's really helpful to know. Who'd have thought losing weight (to a healthy point) can be bad - Mother Nature can be so unfair!

    I've found I've lost a little bit just because I'm not eating sugar (I'm eating lots just different stuff) so will definitely keep an eye on that.

    I hope things are getting better for you


  • I'm no expert on this, theoretically I'd imagine if you have less adipose tissue situated around nerves, perhaps this would enable greater connection to the bowel tissue and thus greater sensitivity? I can't find anything on it easily - I'd say that it's probably more likely that your Endo is affecting your bowel more now and/or perhaps you have ibs as a result of Endo or prior surgery. See an Endo specialist who should be able to give you better advice x

  • Thanks for your reply. The funny thing is when I was chubby, my gp assumed I was feeling sick because I was eating unhealthy food (I was never actually overweight and most of my weight gain was from the pill and lack of exercise, not unhealthy food). They just assumed that because of my weight, I make myself sick and not a disease. Now that I've lost the extra weight, they still assume my weight is causing this. As a woman, you can never do anything right. Either you're sick because you're fat or you're sick because you're thin. It made me think the doctors were just caught in stereotypes but it's interesting to know that being thin might actually make you more sensitive to some things.

  • Defo see your Endo specialist. Fat or thin, you shouldn't be having pain with bowel movements - either Endo, ibs or maybe some form of inflammatory bowel disease if you've other symptoms too - this can also cause weight loss. Xx

  • Wow girls, such great advice and makes me feel more positive about changes I can make myself. Thank you. So pleased diet changes have helped improve things for you.

    henrietta norton book now ordered - thanks Louise5!

    Stella-Monica was there a book that made the most sense to you that you'd recommend?

    And Applebird- so good to hear good news stories of pregnancy, thank you. I've been wondering about acupuncture - are you London based? If so, I'd love a recommendation.

    Thanks so much to you all - I had a little cry reading all your replies. In a good way- have been a bit overwhelmed by it all and you've given me some positive and proactive steps to try. Thank you

    Wishing you all healthy and pay free days xx

  • Aww...glad the replies helped. Endo can be a lonely old world, that's why this forum is fab! I have everything crossed for you that it all works out well. You're giving yourself the best start! Xx

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