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I have heard that hormonal therapy can help overcome endometriosis, how effective is the therapy ?

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I have heard that hormonal therapy can help overcome endometriosis, how effective is the therapy ?

posted Jan 20, 2016 by Pallavi

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2 Answers

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Hormones play an important role in regulating the menstrual cycle and simultaneously developing and shedding of the endometrial tissue lining. Since the overgrown endometrial tissue also is influenced by the hormones, treatment of it using hormonal dosages stands a promising option. The different types are:
Combined oral contraceptives:
The pill is a combination of estrogen and progesterone which regulate the menstrual cycle. They work by suppressing the ovulation, thereby reducing the formation of uterine lining. Since the lining is thin, the cycles pass through with reduced bleeding and cramps. Pills are usually taken for 21 days, starting the first day of the cycle, followed by taking the sugar pills for the next 7 days. At times, some choose to continuously take the hormone pills. Pain comes to halt to a great extent when taking the pill, but might show up once the dosage is stopped. Only milder cases of endometriosis can be treated through this therapy. Side effects like weight gain, bloating and bleeding between the cycles might be prevalent.
The dosage of progesterone suppresses the growth of endometrium wall resulting in no ovulation and hence no menstrual bleeding. It can be administered either through an injection, tablet or as Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUD). Mirena is one such IUD which reduces size of the lesions and menstrual flow. It is functional for a span of 5 years. Depo-Provera is another compound of progesterone, which is injected. This is usually not recommended for women who are planning to start a family in near future, since the elimination of this from the body takes a long time, depending on the dosage and the absorption capacity of the body. Weight gain, depression and vaginal bleeding could be some of the side effects.
GnRH agonists:
These are the modified forms of naturally occurring Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone which control the menstrual cycle. A continuous dosage of this for a period of 2 weeks could put the body in a temporary menopausal state, since estrogen is not produced; the existing lining becomes inactive and reduces.
Testosterone derivatives:
Testosterone is a type of androgen which male hormone. Administration of this reduces the production of estrogen and progesterone which in turn reduce the symptoms of endometrium development. Danazol and Gestrinone are the two most commonly used testosterone derivatives. Due to their extensive side effects, these are usually considered as ‘second line’ treatments.

answer Jan 20, 2016 by William
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There are different kinds of treatments available for endometriosis, which include both natural and therapeutic treatments. These days, hormonal therapy has emerged as a viable solution for dealing with the issue. However, the effectiveness of the therapy differs from individual to individual because this is a problem that is really not completely curable.

Hormone medicines works simply by turning off the ovaries for a while and in turn there is no ovulation or making of eggs. Since you don’t ovulate, periods are not only delayed but become irregular. Endometriosis is known for causing pain during periods, but with periods stopping the pain is gone too.

Combined with other hormones like estrogen and progestin, the goal of any hormonal treatment during process is to reduce pain via preventing ovulations. It can be taken via the vaginal ring, which is like a really thin and flexible rubber that can be fit inside the vagina. It has a combination of hormones that gets into action. You benefit by-

  • Reduction in pain caused because of endometriosis
  • Reduced periods, which means reduced pains
  • No oral consumption of pills everyday, thanks to the ring procedure
  • In some cases you will have limited bleeding with the ring, which means less of pain.

However there are some side effects involved-

  • There are many women who experience higher or heavier bleeding. The spotting may also continue for a longer period.
  • Lot of other changes are experienced like mood swings, cramps, weight gain, tenderness in breast, etc.
  • Risks of hormones releasing higher doses into the body exists. In such cases, you are at a risk of strokes and other illnesses too.
  • Skin irritation and rashes may occur along with risk of infection in the vaginal area.
  • Some women many not experience any kind of relief from their endometriosis pain.
answer May 11, 2016 by Rachel