What are the treatment options for endometriosis?

Treatment for endometriosis is decided based on the severity of symptoms one is experiencing as well as if they are trying to become pregnant or not. Surgery is usually only done if all other treatments are not working. Common treatment methods for endometriosis include:
 
  • Over the counter pain medications and home remedies to relieve symptoms
  • Hormonal contraceptives: If you are not trying to get pregnant, birth control pills/patches, vaginal rings, or other hormonal contraceptives may be prescribed in order to decrease the amount of endometrial tissue that builds up each month prior to menstruation. This can be very helpful in relieving some of the pain and excessive bleeding that occurs during menstruation. Progestin therapy involves using a contraceptive that only contains progestin, such as an intrauterine device or the birth control shot. This therapy stops menstruation and can help to relieve symptoms. 
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists or antagonists: This type of drug stops menstruation and induces temporary menopause by ceasing the production of the hormones that cause ovulation, menstruation, and the growth of endometrial tissue.
  • Assistive reproductive technologies: If you are trying to become pregnant, assistive reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization may be helpful.
  • Surgery to remove the problematic endometrial tissue may be indicated in severe cases or when a woman is trying to become pregnant. 
  • Laparoscopic surgery is a less invasive way to remove endometrial tissue growths by inserting a scope into a small abdominal incision. 
  • A laparotomy is more invasive. During a laparotomy, an abdominal incision is made and the doctor attempts to remove most of the displaced endometrial tissue without harming any healthy tissue.
  • In more severe cases a hysterectomy may be done. A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus and potentially the cervix and ovaries. Women cannot get pregnant after a hysterectomy. 
 
endometriosis treatment
 
 

Sources:
  • “Endometriosis.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 20 Aug. 2016. Web. 3 Aug. 2017.
  • “Endometriosis.” Cleveland Clinic, 29 May. 2014. Web. 3 Aug. 2017. 
  • “Endometriosis.” John’s Hopkins Medicine. John’s Hopkins Medicine Health Library, n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2017.
  • “Endometriosis.” John’s Hopkins Medicine. John’s Hopkins Medicine Gynecology and Obstetrics, n.d. Web 3 Aug. 2017.
  • “Endometriosis.” Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. Womenshealth.gov, 10 Jul. 2017.   Web. 3 Aug. 2017. 

 

From Our Blog: Nine Contraception Methods & Options
Hormonal treatment doesn't “cure” endometriosis, but it may help with controlling pain by stopping your periods and preventing the disease from getting worse. Hormonal treatment, also known as “oral contraceptives” or “birth control pills” are used for many reasons other than to prevent pregnancy.
 
nine contraception methods & options infographic

 

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