Treating Endometriosis with Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC's)
Endometriosis is a painful condition affecting 1 out of every 10 women.1 There is no cure for endometriosis. Treatments often aim to control pain.2 Doctors can treat endometriosis pain with long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). LARCs include implants like Nexplanon® and intrauterine devices like Mirena®. These are FDA approved to stop pregnancy, but they can also help control pain from endometriosis.3
LARCs ease pain from endometriosis
A 2020 study showed that implants and intrauterine devices (IUD) lessened pain from endometriosis.3 Women either got an implant or an IUD and doctors followed their progress for 2 years. Every 6 months their pain was assessed in 2 ways:3-5
- Visual analog scale (VAS) scores: Women were asked how much pain they were in on a 0 to 10 scale. This is a biased test because each woman judges her own pain and 2 women can have different ideas about what “bad” pain is.
- Biomarkers: Doctors test the blood looking for markers that show the body is in pain. This study measured CA-125 and CD23 levels. Both markers have been shown to be higher in women with endometriosis.
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