As March, Endometriosis Awareness Month, comes to a close, going over some treatment options for endometriosis seemed like a good topic for today’s blog post.
There’s not one “right” way to treat your endometriosis. Your experience, the extent of your endometriosis, your fertility goals, your values and preferences, the resources you have access to, and your healthcare team will all have an impact on your treatment plan.
Conventional options for treating endometriosis
Laparoscopic excision surgery is an option that can be performed when diagnostic/exploratory laparoscopy is performed.
Birth control pills to shut off the menstrual cycle (especially if contraception is also desired) is an option. The use of progestins, especially Visanne or dienogest, is actually the first-line pharmacological treatment to help with the different kinds of pain that can be experienced in endometriosis. There are also other hormonal medications that impact estrogen that can be used.
Another option is the hormonal IUD which may help heavy bleeding and period pain (and contraception). And, obviously, many menstruators use heavy painkillers to manage pain.
Exploring these options with a gynaecologist is prudent so that you’re aware of what is available to you and what the pros/cons are.
Complementary and naturopathic treatment options for endometriosis
Outside of medications and surgery, there are options that can be helpful for endometriosis symptoms like pain, heavy bleeding, and inflammatory symptoms, as well as for fertility support.
Ginger and boswellia are two anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving herbs.
Acupuncture and TENS machine therapy can also be supportive.
Vitamins that can help with endometriosis are the antioxidant pair of vitamin C and vitamin E.
Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with endometriosis, so testing and supplementing accordingly can be helpful.
Then, there are emerging nutrients and supplements that are showing great promise. Melatonin is one of these. Melatonin is often used in fertility cases to support egg quality. It is a potent antioxidant. Another one is PEA (palmityolethanolamide), which is a pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory compound that works on the nervous system.
As always, please consult with a knowledgeable practitioner before you implement changes to your care plan to go over your options and see what’s best.
And remember, as you learn more about your body and as your health evolves, you can change your mind about your treatment plan!