Medical treatments for endometriosis fall into three categories: Drug therapy, hormone therapy and surgery.
The goal of drug therapy is to relieve the pain and other symptoms of endometriosis. Medications used may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen, as well as acetaminophen, muscle relaxants, and neuropathic drugs. This treatment approach might be used if your symptoms are mild or if you are nearing menopause.
Hormones, or drugs that influence your body’s hormones, may be administered to block ovulation, simulate a non-ovulatory state or reduce estrogen. Substances used to alter the body’s hormonal balance include oral contraceptives, progestins, and aromatase inhibitors. The goal is to alleviate symptoms and bring your body’s hormones more into balance.
Surgery is used if the pain is severe and cannot be relieved with drugs or hormone therapy, or if you want to become pregnant and endometriosis is interfering with fertility. A minimally invasive surgical approach is laparoscopy to remove endometriosis tissue, cysts, and scar tissue; this type of surgery may allow the possibility of becoming pregnant. The more radical surgical approach is hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus and possibly the ovaries as well.
“Endometriosis – Treatment.” University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_general_guidelines_treating_endometriosis_000074_7.htm
“Endometriosis | obgyn.med.umich.edu.” Obstetrics and Gynecology | obgyn.med.umich.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. http://obgyn.med.umich.edu/patient-care/womens-health-library/endometriosis
“Endometriosis Diagnosis and Treatment – Cedars-Sinai.” Cedars-Sinai – A Non-Profit Hospital in Los Angeles . N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Fertility-and-Reproductive-Medicine-Center/Endometriosis-Diagnosis-and-Treatment-.aspx