What Treatment is Effective for Endometriosis?
- Posted on: Aug 23 2013
The ability of a Colorado reproductive endocrinologist to treat endometriosis depends on a number of factors. The age of a woman, how far the disease has progressed, the severity of the symptoms being felt, and the decision on whether or not future children are wanted are all major factors determining the best method of treating the endometriosis. The ability to diagnose the disease is as simple as a collection of tests performed by your Denver fertility doctor and includes both ultrasound and a pelvic exam. In some cases surgery may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Who is eligible for endometriosis treatment?
Those women who are only experiencing mild symptoms of endometriosis and who do not wish to have children at the t
ime of diagnosis are best treated with hormonal therapies. These hormonal therapies include birth control hormones (patch, pill or ring) progestin medications, GnRH agonists, aromatase inhibitors or depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate. Sometimes the hormonal therapy is started after the disease is diagnosed at a laparoscopy procedure. Regular check-ups every 6 to 12 months should occur to monitor the progress of the disease and ensure it is not worsening.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also be taken to combat the pain associated with the condition. If the condition has progressed far enough, prescription medications may be necessary to obtain pain relief. For women that are interested in fertility and desire to conceive surgery is often the best option to treat endometriosis. In cases of very mild disease sometimes fertility medications are tried with limited success. Often in patients with severe endometriosis that desire fertility in vitro fertilization is needed.
What other treatments are there for endometriosis?
One common treatment option used to stunt the endometrial growth is to prescribe birth control to be taken continuously for 6 to 9 months to trigger a pseudo-pregnancy state in order to prevent menstrual cycles.
The birth control used most often in this plan is a combination of progesterone and estrogen pills and will remove many of the symptoms. However, for those who have had the condition for longer periods of time, this treatment plan cannot stop tissue scarring from occurring.
Is there a surgery for endometriosis?
In cases where pain medications and hormonal treatments have not been effective in combating the pain, surgery is an option. Pelvic laparoscopy is often used as a means of diagnosing the severity of the condition and is often used to remove the endometriosis growths that are already present. For women who do not consider children to be a future option, removal the uterus and ovaries is often recommended to treat the disease.
The hormonal treatments, and the removal of the growths, will not cure the disease. These will help to stave off the symptoms, bu
t are often only temporary. Removal of the uterus, tubes, and/or ovaries can help provide permanent relief for many of the symptoms and is the best option in preventing future tissue growth in woman who do not desire to have any more children.
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