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Alternative endometriosis treatments



Conventional Endometriosis Treatment

Conventional endometriosis treatment (as opposed to alternative endometriosis treatments) is a bunch of methods that more or less work to alleviate the symptoms. Some of them are actually harming you more than you can know. The essence is that these treatments neither cure nor heal. Usually, when you stop applying the method, the endo returns, often worse than it was. Read this page to learn what you can expect from your medical doctor, then read about alternative endometriosis treatments and decide what will you do.

Conventional Endometriosis Treatment For Pain

Take the usual pain killers or something from the group of remedies called NSAID, which stands for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. These remedies reduce pain (analgesic effect), fever (antipyretic effect) and inflammation (anti-inflammatory effect) and -- which is most unusual -- they are not habit forming. Aspirin and ibuprofen are two of the most well-known members of this group.

Once you are in pain, do take one of these, but then immediately start searching for the permanent improvement of your endo condition. (If you can give a Reiki treatment to yourself, or if there is someone that can give you a Reiki treatment, the pain will subside, and you will get healed at the same time.)

Pain medication are usually taken together with other treatments.

Conventional Endometriosis Treatment with GnRh

Since endometriosis is connected to monthly periods, the logic is that if you manage to suppress the hormones, the endometriosis should subside as the consequence. The agents called the Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Agonists increase the levels of GnRH, which in the end downregulates the the GnRH receptors. Then the FSH and LH hormones decrease, which in turn decrease estrogen and progesterone levels. Well-known GnRH substances are:

  1. leuprolide (Lupron, Eligard),
  2. buserelin (Suprefact, Suprecor),
  3. nafarelin (Synarel),
  4. historelin,
  5. goserelin (Zoladex),
  6. deslorelin.

The GnRH may not be taken for long, eventually for a few months, not more. Lupron is especially famous for its adverse effects on women's bodies and is usually given before some types of endometrial ablation procedures.

Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists induce menopausal symptoms, and over time may lead to osteoporosis. To counteract such side effects some estrogen may have to be given back (add-back therapy).

Pregnancy and Childbirth

In the same line of thought, pregnancy and childbirth change the hormonal balance and in isolated cases it may be a flow of events that leads to stopping the endometriosis. If it happens that way, all good and well, and if not... oh well.

Conventional Endometriosis Treatment with Hormone Suppression Therapy

Hormone suppression therapy reduces or eliminates menstrual flow and estrogen support. Its effects come slowly and the patient must be in this therapy for years. Endometriosis is often the result of estrogen dominance, and progesterone is the natural counterfit. It inhibits the growth of the endometrium.

Progestins are commercial substitutes for natural progesterone, i.e. they are synthetic hormones which have almost the same properties as the natural progesterone. (Pharmaceutical companies cannot have a patent on a natural substance such as progesterone, but are granted patents for similar substances... For the patient, it would be best to have the best, but it doesn't work that way in this case.)

Well-known progestins are:

substance available in brand name
norethynodrel (Enovid),
norethindrone Ortho-Novum and Ovcon,
norgestimate Ortho Tricyclen, Ortho-Cyclen
levonorgestrel Alesse, Trivora-28

Provera, Depo-Provera


Most patients take progestins in the form of anti-baby pill. And conversely, some women that stop taking the pill may find out that they have sharper symptoms of the endometriosis than those they can remember.

Avoiding Xenoestrogens as an Endometriosis Treatment

It appears that there are many xenoestrogens -- substances that imitate and enhance the effect of estrogens. Xenoestrogens appeared in the last 70 years, so it is a relatively new phenomenon. They are found sunscreen lotions, food preservation, weedkiller, plasticizers, PVC, various insecticides, red dye, lubricants, adhesives, paints, by-product from detergents and spermicides, lotions etc.

It is quite an irony that when they first appeared on the market, many of the progesterone substitutes contained parabenes -- the xenoestrogenic substance in lotions. So women were applying artificial progesterone to reduce estrogen levels, not knowing that at the same time they would increasing them, through parabenes... Within the last year or two, the producers came to their senses, so now it is common to see progesterone creams without parabenes -- always check for this when buying!

Avoiding xenoestrogens is not yet a conventional endometriosis treatment, but it is important to raise the general awareness that they should be avoided, at least, in cases of acute pain and discomfort.

Conventional Endometriosis Treatment with Birth Control Pills

This is the most usual form of treating endo. Monthly bleedings become light or almost non-existing. For many patients this extends to many, many years of "taking the pill" -- young women that haven't given birth yet but would like to be able to one day, should better rethink their position in life. There is no guarantee that once you are off the pill, the endocrine system would start working like a clock and they will be able to get pregnant just like that.

The presence of endometriosis means you have an inherited genetical weakness, and unless you confront that one day, you are just shutting yourself from reality.

Suppresive Steroids with Androgenic Activity as a Conventional Endometriosis Treatment

If you had a perfect hormonal mix, you would have never had endometriosis in the first place. But there is something wrong with your hormonal mix, and the idea of using "suppresive steroids with androgenic activity" is to change the mix by increasing the male hormones factor. Endo reacts fairly well to such a treatment, but it cannot last foever, because the typical male characteristics start showing: hirsutism, acne, irregular menstrual periods, deepening of the voice and increased muscle mass. (Hirsutism is excessive and increased hair growth in women in locations where the occurrence of terminal hair normally is minimal or absent.)

Two common examples are Danazol (Danocrine) and gestrinone. Danazol is modified testosterone. It decreases the pituitary hormones FSH and LH and exerts an antiproliferative effect upon the endometrium, leading to amenorrhea, the absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age. This effect is useful for patients with endometriosis. Danazol will often improve pelvic pain associated with endometriosis is.

Conventional Endometriosis Treatment with Aromatase Inhibitors

Yet another way to block excessive estrogen is through aromatase inhibitors, chemicals which inhibit conversion of androgens into estrogens. This research in the field of endometriosis is relatively new, so aromatase inhibitors are still not regarded as a conventional endometriosis treatment.

Surgery as a Conventional Endometriosis Treatments

Surgical treatment is usually a good choice if endometriosis is extensive, or very painful. Surgical treatments range from minor to major surgical procedures.

Laparoscopy is very useful not only to diagnose endometriosis, but to treat it. With the use of scissors, cautery, lasers, hydrodissection, or a sonic scalpel, endometriotic tissue can be ablated or removed in an attempt to restore normal anatomy.

Laparotomy (classical surgery) can be used for more extensive surgery either in attempt to restore normal anatomy, or at least preserve reproductive potential.

Hysterectomy should be the very last option. In many cases, it will just not solve anything, it all depends on where the scarred tissues already are.

In cases of extreme pain, a presacral neurectomy may be performed -- cutting the nerves that lead to the uterus. This procedure is controversial, to say the least. In many cases the pain returns and is even worse than before... not a happy prospect for the rest of your life, is it!?

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