Endometriosis is a painful condition where the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (endometrium), starts growing outside the uterus. Painful periods, pain during sex, pain while urinating or bowel movements, extreme bleeding, fatigue, infertility, diarrhea, bloating and nausea are some of the symptoms of endometriosis.
Treating endometriosis usually depends on the following factors -
- Severity of symptoms
- The severity of the disease
- Future plans for children
Depending on these the doctor might opt for any of the following treatments -
- Medication for Pain: If the symptoms are mild, then the doctor will prescribe some pain killers like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Oral Hormone Therapy: Your doctor may prescribe you a hormone therapy for control of your symptoms. The options available are:
- Combined Oral pills - Birth control pills, vaginal rings and patches are useful in controlling the hormones that are responsible for tissue build-up outside the uterine cavity.
- Progesterones - MPA or Dienogest. They are very effective in controlling the symptoms of endometriosis.It stops menstruation till the time it is taken. Dienogest is a new drug studied well in endometriosis treatment with very fewer side effects. MPA may be associated with side effects like bloating and weight gain.
- Hormonal Intrauterine Device (LNG-IUS): It is a device that releases hormone (LNG) slowly and can be kept inside the uterus for 5 years. It is effective in endometriosis-related pain.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) antagonists and agonists: Hormones that stimulate ovaries are blocked by these. They bring down oestrogen levels and hence prevent menstruation.
- Danazol: This drug prevents menstruation and symptoms of endometriosis by blocking the hormones that stimulate the ovaries. However, Danazol may not be a favourable option because of its side effects. The drug should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Conservative Surgery: If you are trying to get pregnant, but you already suffer from endometriosis, then removing endometriosis surgically is a viable solution. Your uterus and ovaries will be preserved, which might increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Even suffering from severe pain might find relief from conservative surgery.
- Hysterectomy: In extreme cases, the only way to deal with the symptoms is to completely remove the uterus, ovaries and cervix. Since a hysterectomy means you cannot have children, it is kept as the last option for women in their reproductive age.
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