By Constantine Scordalakes, MD
Kayla Guerzini, Nursing Student - University of Southern Indiana, Evansville
Pain from endometriosis can be persistent and uncontrolled. The few medication options available today still leave many women in pain to battle through their endometriosis symptoms. If you have endometriosis perhaps one of the treatment options below can help.
Current treatments for endometriosis and what’s on the horizon:
Contact your doctor to discuss the option best for you.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - Drugs such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen are commonly used to reduce pelvic pain. These medications are readily available and low cost to patients; however there is no high-quality data that supports the use of NSAIDs to control the pain associated with endometriosis.
- Oral Contraceptives - Oral contraception decreases ovarian functions leading to a reduction of endometriosis activity and pain. Oral contraceptives are generally well tolerated and also provide contraception for users. However, oral contraceptives are not recommended for all women and have side effects including bloating, mood changes and breast tenderness.
- GnRH agonist - Nafarelin and Leuprolide are GnRH agonists used to treat the symptoms associated with endometriosis. But, GnRH agonist can lead to hot flashes, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, and decreased bone density. To reduce the effects of this medication, users will also be prescribed oral contraception.
- Surgery - If unable to use available medications or medications still leave you in pain, surgery is a possible treatment. A total hysterectomy (removal of uterus and ovaries) is an option for women who do not plan on future pregnancies. It is an effective treatment to reduce the symptoms of endometriosis. There are risks to surgery and complication including infection and bleeding can occur.