An estimated 5 to 10% of women may have the condition called endometriosis which is characterized by the cells of the endometrium (the cells that line the inside of the uterus) growing outside of the uterus.
Pelvic pain (that can extend to the legs), infertility and symptoms such as fatigue, very heavy menstrual bleeding, gastrointestinal disturbance, headaches, mood changes, painful intercourse and others are some of the symptoms of the condition; and treatments for endometriosis can be tailored accordingly.
The Endometriosis.org website is an excellent collection of resources relating to endometriosis including causes, management, different options and treatments for endometriosis and so on.
Though it is generally thought that there is no final cure for the condition, the following possible treatments for endometriosis are available:
Pain management treatments for endometriosis
Pelvic pain is the most commonly noted symptom of endometriosis for which simple or compound analgesics can be prescribed. For more severe pain, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, mild narcotics, etc. could be prescribed.
Hormonal treatments for endometriosis
Since endometriosis is known to be exacerbated by the hormone estrogen, controlling the levels of the hormone is one of the effective treatments for endometriosis.
The combination birth control pill, Mirena IUD, GnRH analogues (antagonists and agonists), use of aromatase inhibitors (this treatment is still a new one) to suppress the growth of the endometrium and manage pain, and Danazol, a synthetic androgen, the most commonly used drug for the condition in past decades, are the commonly used hormonal treatments for endometriosis.
Laparoscopic surgery for Diagnosis as well as treatment
The only way to be really sure of a diagnosis of endometriosis is by performing a laparoscopic procedure. This same laparoscopic procedure can also serve as a treatment for endometriosis. Hysterectomy is often advised as being among the most effective of treatments for endometriosis, however it has to be understood that endometriosis can occur even after the surgery, so this may not be the final solution for some women.
The success of Laparoscopic treatments for endometriosis depends upon how thoroughly the lesions, cysts and adhesions relating to the condition are removed – in other words, a lot depends upon the surgical skills of the medical professional.
Nutritional and CAM treatments for endometriosis
Dietary changes and additions can help reduce the severity of the symptoms of endometriosis and can also increase a woman’s ability to tolerate them as well as the possible side effects of mainstream treatments for endometriosis. Further many women are helped by complementary and alternative treatments for endometriosis.
Though the efficacy is not clinically established, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to show that many women are helped by homeopathic treatments, Chinese herbal medicine, osteopathy and other herbal formulations.
Managing stress and anxiety through meditation and yoga can be helpful in managing the condition. Also certain physiotherapy exercises can help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor and help to manage pain. Disciplines such as Pilates can also help strengthen the body to help in the management of the disease.