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Memory/brain fog issues post-endometriosis treatment

I had endometriosis and fibroids removed in April 2023. About one month later, my doctor set me up with progesterone-only birth control, in addition to Orilissa, to reduce my estrogen levels in hopes of reducing recurrence.

I took both as prescribed for a month, and I felt like I was losing my mind. I went from “my usual ADHD” to “outright memory loss and constant brain fog,” which was making it nearly impossible to function. It was a dramatic difference. I opted to stop taking Orilissa, and I swung back by about least 50%: I wasn’t nearly as spaced out and didn’t feel as weird.

The key phrase there is “as weird.” I attributed the remaining fogginess to bouncing back from surgery, but it’s been 9 months now. I still feel wrong. It’s not that I’m miserable day to day, so much that my ability to operate sleeps on a cloud while a voice inside of me is screaming to do the dishes. I’ve tried adjusting my mental health treatment, doing weekly therapy, exercise, better sleep, and better food, but I still feel wrong.

I’m desperate to find a solution. I feel like I’ve made an honest try. The only thing I haven’t tried is returning to my old estrogen birth control pills, even though that puts me at risk of endo recurrence.

The educational material on estrogen and memory focuses on menopause, but I’m in my early 30s. I’ve scheduled an appointment with my doctor, but I want to know if anyone else has experienced something like this when they’re not near menopause. Is there any other avenue I should look at?

Thanks for reading!

  1. Hi . I hope your appointment goes well and that you get some relief. Unfortunately, brain fog is common among people with chronic illness, especially those illnesses that involve inflammation, like endometriosis. Here is a wonderful article from one of our advocates about managing edometriosis brain fog that might interest you: It is always possible that the feeling you are experiencing has a different source, so you are smart to change things up one at a time and see how your body reacts. Hopefully, your doctor will be on board and will have some good advice. Let us know how the appointment goes if you don't mind. I will be thinking of you. - Lori (Team Member)

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