Treating Your Endometriosis

Very often, women don't end up needing treatment for endometriosis. They don't always even know that they have the disease, or they know but they don't have symptoms that would require treatment. For people who do require treatment, there are many avenues that are worth looking into and understanding.

Birth Control Pills

At times, doctors will prescribe birth control pills to treat endometriosis. OCP, the oral contraceptive pill, is the most common pill prescribed. Side effects can include weight gain, breast tenderness and nausea. Most women, however, don't experience side effects with contraceptive pills and these pills can help with endometriosis a great deal.


Progestins are stronger than birth control pills and are recommended when the woman doesn't find relief with birth control pills, or when she can't take them for a medical reason. Progestins include Proyera, Cycrin, Amen and a few others. Side effects that some women experience include breast tenderness, bloating, weight gain, irregular uterine bleeding and depression. These drugs are not suitable for women who want to become pregnant, as they can keep women from menstruating for many months.

Aromatase Inhibitors

Aromatase Inhibitors are part of a new treatment that doctors are recommending for endometriosis. These drugs include anastrozole (Arimidex) and letrozole (Femara). They interrupt estrogen formation within the endometriosis implants. They also keep estrogen from being produced. The research is not yet conclusive about how effective these drugs are for helping endometriosis. The problem with these drugs is that they can cause bone loss with prolonged use and need to be closely monitored by a doctor.

GnRH Analogs

These are popular treatments for endometriosis. What geonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs (GnRH analogs) do is reduce the size of the implants that endometriosis causes and decrease the pain. They suppress estrogen production and stop the menstrual cycle. In this way, these drugs mimic menopause. You can take this drug either in a nasal form or as an injection. There are many possible side effects, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, irregular menstrual bleeding, mood changes, fatigue and osteoporosis. Sometimes, the doctor will try to add small amounts of estrogen and progesterone in pill form back into the treatment plan to counteract the many side effects.

Finally, Surgical Treatments

As a last option, some women will have to undergo surgical treatments for endometriosis. This can occur if you are experiencing a lot of pain, if the pelvic organs are distorted, or if the endometriosis is causing an obstruction of the bowel or the urinary tract. Surgery doesn't always guarantee that the endometriosis will disappear. Up to 40% of women say that their endometriosis reappeared after surgery. Doctors will usually keep women on oral medications after the surgery to help to relieve symptoms for the long term. Surgery may be able to deal with the endometriosis while preserving the uterus and ovarian tissues; or it may be necessary to do a hysterectomy. Certainly, you'll want to speak with your doctor and have all of the facts before undergoing surgery for endometriosis.

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