Treatments for Endometriosis
Although there is no cure for endometriosis, a variety of treatment options exist. Goals may include: relieving/reducing pain symptoms, shrinking or slowing endometrial growths, preserving or restoring fertility, and preventing/delaying recurrence of the disease. To learn more about endometriosis and pain read chapter two in The Endometriosis Sourcebook.
PAIN MEDICATION: Over-the-counter pain relievers may include aspirin and acetaminophen, as well prostaglandin inhibitors such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, indomethacin, and tolfenamic acid. In some cases, prescription drugs may be required.
PAIN RELIEF: ProSirona, a new product that targets endometriosis and fibromyalgia pain, is applied topically on the area of pain. The main ingredients in ProSirona are essential oils which have been combined in a technologically advanced way to make them optimally effective. (ProSirona can be used for other types of pain as well.) It is an alternative to oral pain-relief drugs.
HORMONAL THERAPY: Hormonal treatment aims to stop ovulation for as long as possible and may include: oral contraceptives, progesterone drugs, a testosterone derivative (danazol), and GnRH agonists (gonadotropin releasing hormone drugs). Side effects may be a problem for some women.
SURGERY: Conservative surgery seeks to remove or destroy the growths, relieve pain, and may allow pregnancy to occur in some cases. Conservative surgery can involve laparoscopy (outpatient surgery in which the surgeon can view the inside of the abdomen through a tiny lighted tube that is inserted through one or more tiny abdominal incisions; also referred to as “belly-button” surgery or laparotomy (more extensive procedure, full incision, longer recovery period). Hormonal therapy may be prescribed along with conservative surgery. Radical surgery, which may be necessary in severe cases, involves a hysterectomy, removal of all growths, and removal of ovaries.
ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT: Complementary treatment options may include traditional Chinese medicine, nutritional approaches, homeopathy, allergy management, and immune therapy. To learn more about alternative therapies, see The Endometriosis Sourcebook, Overcoming Endometriosis, and Endometriosis: The Complete Reference for Taking Charge of Your Health.
Many members have found that endo-specific nutrition and vitamins, minerals, and other supplements have helped them achieve better health. The Association offers for sale some of those found most helpful.