Treating Endometriosis with Medications
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While common endometriosis medications can't cure the condition, they CAN help ease the symptoms that come with it. Learn more about treating endometriosis with medications.
Transcript: Endometriosis is one of the most common health problems in women, so there are various medicines to treat...
Endometriosis is one of the most common health problems in women, so there are various medicines to treat it. Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines a woman's uterus, the endometrium, grows OUTSIDE of her womb on pelvic parts like the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and intestines. Endometriosis often causes pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis. Unfortunately, there is no CURE for the condition, but medication or surgery can help ease symptoms. Because medication is a more conservative treatment option, many doctors start there. Sometimes, simple over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and naproxene are enough to control mild endometriosis pain. If not, a doctor may prescribe hormonal medications. Hormonal contraceptives - like the Pill, the patch and the ring - are options that may both decrease menstrual flow AND prevent overgrowth of endometrium tissue outside the uterus. Additional medications to try include gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. These drugs treat endometriosis by significantly reducing the amount of estrogen in a woman's body. This stops the menstrual cycle, and often causes additional menopausal-like side effects, including: hot flashes, bone loss, and vaginal dryness. For this reason, a woman treated with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone medication may ALSO take a low dose of estrogen. A third hormonal treatment for endometriosis is medroxy-progesterone, which is branded as Depo-Provera. This injectable drug contains progestin, a hormone that works AGAINST the effects of estrogen on endometrial tissue. Depo-Provera also stops the menstrual cycle and may cause other symptoms like weight gain, depression, and decreased bone density. Finally, a weak male hormone called Danazol may be used to treat painful endometriosis. Danazol lowers the levels of estrogen and progesterone in a woman's body. Unfortunately, it may also cause unwanted and unavoidable side effects, including: facial hair growth, diminished breast size, oily skin, and weight gain. Although all of these medications may effectively ease the pain caused by endometriosis, other common symptoms like infertility problems may remain. For this reason, women with endometriosis trying get pregnant should consider surgical treatment, which is discussed in another video on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
endometriosis medications, treating endometriosis, danazol, medroxy progesterone, depo provera, hormonal contraceptives, gonadotropin medications endometriosis, endometrium, uterine pain, painful menstrual cramps fallopian tubes, ovaries, infertility, egg, ovulation, period, menstrual health, reproductive health, menstrual cycle
Treating endometriosis with surgery has become very common among women. Learn more about the procedure, its affects, and the side effects by viewing this video.
Transcript: Endometriosis gets its name from the endometrium, which is the tissue lining a woman's uterus. For reasons...
Endometriosis gets its name from the endometrium, which is the tissue lining a woman's uterus. For reasons doctors don't fully understand, the endometrium can grow OUTSIDE the uterine walls. When this tissue shows up on body parts like the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and intestines, it is called endometriosis. Many women with endometriosis experience at least some level of pelvic and abdominal pain. And as many as one-half of them suffer from impaired fertility! While medication can ease mild to moderate discomfort, it may NOT improve fertility and may not be enough relief for women with severe growths and a great deal of pain. For women who fit this description, surgery may be the best treatment option. The most minimally invasive surgery for endometriosis is a laparoscopy. During this procedure, a small viewing instrument, or laparoscope, is inserted through a tiny incision in a woman's belly button. A doctor then uses a laser or surgical knife to remove endometrial growths and scar tissue. This outpatient procedure is also how doctors diagnose endometriosis in the first place. A laparotomy is similar to laparoscopy, but it involves a much larger incision on the abdomen and is occasionally necessary to allow thorough removal of deeply invasive or extensive disease and scar tissue caused by endometriosis. Laparotomy is an inpatient procedure and requires a longer recovery time. In very serious cases of endometriosis, a doctor may remove a woman's uterus and ovaries. Known as hysterectomy and oophorectomy, these procedures ensure that endometriosis does not return, but they ALSO ensure that a woman can never get pregnant, and when the ovaries are removed, that she will be thrown into surgical menopause. It's important to note that if medication can control a woman's pain, surgery may NOT be advised, even to correct fertility problems. Alternatives like in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, may help women in this situation conceive. IVF involves inserting a fertilized egg into the uterus. It can be effective in women with endometriosis whose ovaries still produce eggs, but whose fallopian tubes and ovarian scarring from endometriosis make it impossible for those eggs to make their way into the tube and from there, into the uterus. If you're not convinced that surgery or IVF are the answer to YOUR endometriosis, discuss medication options with your doctor.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
laparoscopy laparotomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, reproductive surgery, surgery for endometriosis endometriosis, uterus removal, infertile, infertility, endometrium, uterine pain, painful menstrual cramps fallopian tubes, ovaries, infertility, egg, ovulation, period, menstrual health, reproductive health, menstrual cycle