Community Views: Medical Options to Manage Endo Symptoms
For most women, the journey to finding what works to manage endometriosis symptoms starts with their doctor. It is common for the gynecologist who made your endo diagnosis to develop your plan of treatment.
We wanted to find out more about which medically prescribed treatments are working for community members. We reached out to followers of our Facebook page and asked you to tell us: “In your experience, what has helped most to manage your endo symptoms?” More than 150 community members answered, and here is what was said.
Share your experience
Having surgery for endo symptoms
The most common answer shared by the community was surgery. While surgery is not a definite cure for endo, many who have gone under the knife are pleased with the long-lasting results. However, surgery is not always a permanent solution. Doctors estimate that surgery can provide relief from endo symptoms for 10 to 15 years, but this is not a guarantee.
“I feel surgery was the best help with endometriosis!”
“A lot of scraping out my endo in 2008 with my 2nd C-section.”
“Surgery. Honestly, nothing else ever came close to providing the relief I got from surgery.”
“Surgery. Nothing else helped and my situation kept getting worse until I went to a specialist.”
“I had a partial oophorectomy, and that relieved my symptoms.
Choosing a hysterectomy
For most women, a hysterectomy is not usually their first surgical choice. It is more common to first try surgical procedures that remove endo tissue. If that does not provide relief from symptoms, there are other surgeries to consider. Sometimes an oophorectomy, which removes 1 or both ovaries, is an option. However, some women choose a hysterectomy. This may be considered drastic, but this procedure often offers the best odds of relieving endo symptoms.
“A total hysterectomy at age 32 brought the end to my extremely severe case of endo.”
“A total hysterectomy in 2015 when I was 30.”
“The only thing that helped me was a total hysterectomy. I went through it all for 10+ years. Finally had my hysterectomy at 40.”
Taking birth control
Many women find that birth control helps alleviate endo symptoms. Just as endo is a complicated diagnosis, so too are the solutions. It may take some trial and error to find the right birth control that works, while keeping in mind that this approach does not help everyone.
“I am on birth control. The first month was great. Now I am feeling pains again and am wondering if my body needs longer to adjust to it.”
“The pill. I choose to have my period every 3 months instead of every month.”
Many women do not know that there are prescription drugs available to treat endo. These medicines help decrease the growth of abnormal tissue and provide relief for endo symptoms, such as painful periods and cramps.
“I have recently started taking Synarel, and it is honestly been so impactful. My daily pain is significantly reduced, and my period pain is SO much more tolerable. I have not noticed too many side effects from it either.”
Relying on prescription pain medicine
Everyone’s road to peace with endo looks different. For some women, the answer is finding prescription medicine to deal with the intense pain of this diagnosis. For others, pain medicine is a short-term solution while waiting for surgery or for birth control pills to become fully effective.
“Popping a big amount of pain relievers.”
“Prescription pain meds.”
Thank you to everyone who shared their advice and experiences for this story. We are grateful to hear from so many.
Have you heard about the new tampon technology currently being tested to detect endometriosis?