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Hormone Therapy for Endometriosis

 

Hormone Therapy for Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus is found elsewhere in the body. This tissue is only supposed to make up the uterine lining and therefore causes problems when located in other regions of the body. It is estimated that 10 percent of all women suffer from endometriosis during their reproductive years.

Endometriosis and hormone therapy

The hormone estrogen "feeds" endometriosis growth. This is why endometriosis only affects women during their high-estrogen adult years. When a woman's menstrual period stops around age 50 and the estrogen levels drop, endometriosis growth and symptoms also stop. There is no known cure for endometriosis. However, controlling estrogen with hormone therapy may help relieve endometriosis pain. Hormone therapy may reduce the number and size of growths and limit the spread of endometriosis, however, it does not improve fertility.

Types of hormone therapy

Unless infertility is the main concern, hormone therapy is the first-choice treatment for endometriosis. Only birth control hormones like the patch, the pill or the ring are safe for long-term use until menopause. They are often paired with anti-inflammatory therapy, which helps relieve the swelling that causes the pressure and pain associated with endometriosis. The other hormone therapy options are limited to shorter-term use and may have serious side effects after a few months of use.

Endometriosis is a disease that affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide regardless of their ethnic and social background. Many remain undiagnosed and therefore never receive treatment. Hormone therapies are effective for 80 to 90 percent of women. Different women have different results with each kind of therapy.

1 comment:

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