Treatment with Drugs
Endometriosis has no cure, as of now. But that does not mean that the women who have developed this disease will continue to suffer. Many females have benefited from the treatment with drugs and also achieved pregnancy. The symptoms and causes of Endometriosis are treatable with medications and surgery. Your doctor will choose the treatment line depending on your answer to the three questions:
The general stance of the doctors is to first try the conservative methods. They select surgery as a last option if the disease does not respond to other treatments.
If the pain is mild and tolerable, the doctor may advise you take pain relievers that are available without prescriptions. These medicines are non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen and variants like Advil, Martin IB, and Aleve, etc. These medicines alleviate pain during menstruation.
If these pain relievers are not providing adequate relief, the doctors may think of a better approach to control causes and symptoms of your Endometriosis.
Hormonal therapy sometimes works effectively for reducing or completely curing the Endometriosis pain. With the growth and plunge of hormones during your menstrual cycle, the Endometrial implants get thickened.
The thickening of these implants helps in breaking them down and bleeding out. Also, the hormonal medications help in slowing down or preventing the growth of endometrial cells. Although hormonal therapy helps in reducing the Endometrial cramping, it cannot be considered a lasting Endometriosis cure.
There is always a possibility of reappearing the symptoms once you have stopped the treatment. The following hormonal therapies are generally used to treat Endometriosis:
Hormonal contraceptives such as birth controlling pills, patches or rings do help in controlling hormones that cause building up of Endometrial cells each month. By using a hormonal contraceptive, the menstrual flow during your periods becomes thinner and lighter.
The hormonal contraceptive use, cycle-after-cycle routinely, helps in managing mild to moderate Endometrial pain. And, in most cases, the pain gets eliminated.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and antagonists
The potent drugs, like Gonadotgropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and antagonists, not only obstruct the formation of hormones that stimulate your ovaries, but also lower estrogen levels in your body.
These drugs help in preventing menstruation. All these resulting factors help in shrinkage of the Endometrial tissue. Gn-RH agonists and antagonist drugs cut back endometriosis during treatment and in some cases for months or years after the treatment. In fact, these drugs develop menopausal conditions in you artificially.
In order to manage side effects of the menopausal conditions, you may be prescribed a small dose of estrogen or progestin along with these Gn-RH agonists and antagonist drugs.
Depo-Provera is an injectable drug that helps in stopping your periods and endometrial implants growth. You get ample amount of relief of pain and other symptoms of Endometriosis. Its side effects may include, among others, increase in your weight, decreased bone production and depressing mood.
Danazol a is endometrial growth suppressant. It, above all, blocks the development of ovarian-stimulating hormones, prevents menstruation and the symptoms of endometriosis.
Still, danazol is not prescribed as the primary choice because of its serious side effects. If you are looking forward to becoming pregnant, it may harm the health of the baby as well. The common side effects of Danazol are:
- You may develop oily skin and, thus, pimples and acne
- Along with weight gain, you may experience muscle cramps, tiredness
- Your breasts may become smaller and painful
- You may experience frequent headaches, general physical weakness, dizziness and hot flashes
- You may develop a deepening voice during your treatment.
- Danazol may harm the fetus in your womb. It is advised to avoid pregnancy during your medication.
- While under Danazol treatment, you are advised not to go in for hormonal Birth Controlling methods, like pills. You may, instead, use another birth control ways like condoms etc.
There is a lot of research going on for the treatment of Endometriosis symptoms with other hormones. Gestrinone is one such example that is widely being used in all over Europe, excepting the United States of America.
Aromatase is yet another drug that has been found to decrease the estrogen level in your body.
Some researchers are claiming it to be useful in controlling pain caused by Endometriosis. The Food and Drug Administration of the US Government has not approved these drugs yet until it gets a conclusive report after experimenting them.