Endometriosis Treatment

It is estimated that as many as 10% of women will develop endometriosis during their childbearing years. It is most common among women in their 30s and 40s. The pain associated with endometriosis can be crippling, and often drives women with the condition to seek medical treatment.

What Is Endometriosis?

When uterine tissue grows outside the uterus, such as in the ovaries or fallopian tubes, this is called endometriosis. This is problematic because the tissue breaks down and bleeds during the menstrual cycle – but, depending on its location, it may not be able to exit the body. This can irritate nearby tissue, cause cysts, and lead to the development of scar tissue and infertility.

All of this can cause severe pain, especially with menstruation, as well as during sexual activity. It can also cause heavy periods.

Diagnosing Endometriosis

Your OB-GYN provider at EstrogenicA Health 360 will review your health history, ask you to describe your symptoms, and perform a pelvic exam to look for signs of endometriosis. Imaging tests such as an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be conducted. A laparoscopy may be used to confirm the diagnosis and get more detailed information – such as the size, location, and extent of the wayward endometrial tissue – to better plan your treatment.

Your Treatment Options

While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are techniques and technologies that can relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Endometriosis treatment options available to you may include:

Hormone Therapy

Medications that adjust hormone levels in your body can slow the growth of existing endometrial tissue, and perhaps even shrink it. These therapies include:

  • Hormone-based birth control inhibits ovulation, which slows endometrial tissue growth, which may help relieve endometriosis symptoms.
  • Aromatase inhibitors are drugs that reduce estrogen levels and inflammation in women with endometriosis. These medications are typically combined with a hormone-based birth control to treat endometriosis symptoms.
  • Drugs that create an artificial menopause – known as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and antagonists – reduce the production of estrogen. This causes endometrial tissue to shrink and can effectively suppress endometriosis symptoms. When these drugs are discontinued, menstruation and the possibility of pregnancy return.

Pain Management Techniques

Controlling endometriosis symptoms is key to maintaining a good quality of life. Pain management methods include the use of over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications. Some patients also report improvement with alternative pain-relieving therapies, such as acupuncture and chiropractic care.

Surgery for Endometriosis

In many cases, minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to remove any endometrial tissue that has traveled outside the uterus can relieve moderate to severe endometriosis pain. Because the condition may recur after surgery, it is often recommended that patients continue to use hormone-based medications and/or safe and effective pain management techniques. Depending on your condition and the severity of your symptoms, a hysterectomy, which removes the uterus and possibly other nearby structures, may also be recommended.