Here are some common ways that endometriosis is treated:
- Pain medications. Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can help to reduce some of the pain and symptoms of endometriosis. You may need to pursue a different approach if this treatment option doesn’t improve pain and symptoms.
- Hormone therapy. Contraceptives and other supplemental hormones may be effective in helping to manage changing menstrual cycle hormones, which are responsible for causing the thickening, breaking down and bleeding of endometrial growths.
- Conservative surgery. Surgery on endometrial growths may help to alleviate pain and, if you are trying to conceive a child, increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
- Hysterectomy and ovary removal. In certain instances when endometriosis is severe enough, a hysterectomy — surgical removal of the cervix and uterus — along with removal of both ovaries may be the best treatment method. This option is usually a last resort.
Endometriosis has caused challenges in the lives of many women. Some have experienced barriers in relationships due to physical and emotional pain while others have missed work and social events.
But it’s important to know that you can be in a better position to relieve your pain and enhance your well-being by becoming more knowledgeable of the warning signs and effective treatments associated with endometriosis.
Javier Cardenas, M.D., is a Mayo Clinic Health System obstetrician and gynecologist. Health & Fitness coverage is supported by Mayo Clinic Health System, preserving the health and well-being of southern Minnesota communities.