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Pain Relief Options for Endometriosis

Pain Relief Options for Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a surprisingly common condition, affecting many women who don’t even realize they have it. When you have endometriosis, patches of endometrial tissue grow in internal areas of your abdomen outside your uterus.

One of the most recognizable symptoms of endometriosis? Pain. You might experience unusually painful menstrual periods if you have endometriosis due to the effects of hormone shifts on endometrial tissue inside and outside your uterus. People with endometriosis are also at risk for pain during sex, also known as “dyspareunia.”

Dr. Leonardo Longoria and our team at Longoria OBGYN can advise you on managing your endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain. Dr. Longoria offers endometriosis support and treatment from his practice in El Paso, Texas.

If you find yourself dealing with endometriosis pain, what are your options for symptom relief? Here’s what you need to know.

Pain medications and endometriosis

Pain medication can help you manage endometriosis pain. You can purchase nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen over-the-counter (OTC). Dr. Longoria can also prescribe higher doses of these medications for you.

NSAIDs reduce inflammation and pain response in your body. While these medications can be used long-term, you should know about the associated risks of gastrointestinal bleeding, skin rashes, bruising, bleeding, allergic reactions, and increased chance of stroke or heart attack.

Dr. Longoria doesn’t recommend opioid pain medications for endometriosis patients due to the risk of addiction.

Other pain management strategies for endometriosis

In addition to pain medications, some simple at-home treatments can provide relief from your endometriosis symptoms. These include:

Pain psychology for chronic pain is an option you can try, and alternative treatments like acupuncture or chiropractic care may also give you symptom relief.

Hormonal treatments for endometriosis

To reduce your endometriosis-related pain, you may want to address the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue in your body. As endometrial tissue grows in response to hormones, hormonal medications typically used for birth control are often helpful for endometriosis sufferers.

Combined estrogen-progestin contraceptives typically work the best for endometriosis symptom reduction, resulting in less pain and lighter menstrual periods. You may also benefit from taking progestin by itself, decreasing your amounts of endometrial tissue.

Other hormone-based medications that might help with your endometriosis pain are gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists or GnRH antagonists. These medications reduce the amount of estrogen in your body as well as the growth of endometrial tissue. But if your estrogen levels become too low, you can experience side effects including bone loss.

Laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis

Finally, Dr. Longoria may be able to address your endometriosis symptoms using laparoscopic surgery. In this procedure, he surgically clears away stray patches of endometrial tissue, getting you back to a clean slate when it comes to your reproductive organs. 

If endometriosis has harmed your fertility, laparoscopic surgery procedures may be effective in improving your chances for conception and successful pregnancy.

Talk to Dr. Longoria about the right pain management and treatment plan for your endometriosis. Schedule your appointment by calling Longoria OBGYN today, or request an appointment online anytime.

 

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