Endometriosis: The Medication Information

Endometriosis is a life-changing medical condition. It has not had the research or recognition that it should. Over the past few years, we have tried to understand it better. One of the first things a woman has to face when they are dealing with endometriosis is the medications. This is a list of almost one thousand different options. While we did want to go through each and everyone, that wasn’t an option. So, we did the next best thing and chose the most popular choices. Not only will you see how it is taken, but you will also see what others had to say about it. The goal is to help you make an informed choice so that you feel empowered. You are an endo warrior and sometimes the medications can be your kryptonite so let this article be your lasso of truth. 

Almost all of these have some form of the hormone. They are all prescriptions. You do have to go to your doctor to get access to these. We encourage you to do further research based on the questions you have. We are all different, so not all medications will affect every woman exactly the same. 

Here is the medication information:

Sprintec – This is a pill-taking by mouth. It is a type of birth control. You are supposed to take it at the same time every day in order for it to be the most effective. Some of the side effects include weight gain, mood swings, and swelling of the ankles and feet. 

What others are saying about it:

Most say that they have clearer skin and improved cramping and bleeding. The most complained about side effects is anxiety. Sprintec seems to raise anxiety levels. It got four out of five stars for ease of use and effectiveness. 

Trinessa – is another pill that you take by mouth. It is recommended that you take it at the same time everyday. Side effects are nausea and vomiting, headaches, and weight gain. The effectiveness is directly related to its side effects. If you are throwing up, it isn’t going to work as well. If you get sick, it may not work as well. 

What others are saying about it:

The biggest complaint is nausea and vomiting. Most people did not see relief in this until they were on it for a year or more. There was a relief in cramps and bleeding after about six months. 

Lupron Depot – This is a shot that you give yourself or get from the doctor one every three months. It is not birth control. It is to control the amount of testosterone in your body. Originally it was designed to help treat prostate cancer. It has been said to help the growth of endo cells and offer pain relief. 

What others are saying about it:

Most said they were scared because it is a male hormone treatment plan. However, after trying it they were impressed with the effectiveness. The pain was controlled as was the bleeding. The biggest side effect was muscle pain. 

Zoladex implant – The idea is to decrease the amount of estrogen in your body so that it thins the lining of your uterus. This will cause bleeding to stop completely. You will have to have it placed by a doctor but it dissolves over time so that you don’t have to have it removed. You will see a rise in hormones before you see the drop and that will cause symptoms to get worse before they get better.

What others are saying:

Zoladex seems to really help the pain and the bleeding. The side effects aren’t near as bad after the first month. The worst side effect is hair loss which was reported by twenty percent of patients under 35. 

Zoesea Tablet  (Chewable) – This is the same as most of the other birth control tablets. You have to take it at the same time every day. It has both estrogen and progestin. It does show to have a decrease in endo symptoms. There is less of a chance of ovarian cysts while using it as well. 

What others are saying:

There is an increase in moodiness, aggression, and depression among users in the first three months. After the initial three months side effects seem to have lessened and there was a decrease in cramps. It did not have huge results in lessening or controlling the bleeding. In some cases, bleeding seemed to get worse. 

Ethinyl Estradiol and Levonorgestrel – is a birth control pill that is different in that it is made to directly affect the lining of the uterus. It targets uterine cells, like those found in endo cases, so that they are thinner and shed more effectively. It has few side effects than most birth control but also has lower effectiveness when used as birth control. 

What others are saying:

You do need to see your doctor regularly while taking the medication. More check-ins mean more time off work. There are fewer endo symptoms, less pain, and more regular bleeding. Your cycle is not stopped but you do feel more normal. The downside is that it does cause some anxiety and depression. Most doctors will recommend that you see a therapist while on this medication to evaluate your mood. 

Seasonique – this is an effective birth control. It does control the uterine lining so that it is thinner and shed easier. It is often recommended by doctors for endometriosis because it can help to regulate the bleeding and lessen the cramping. However, it does seem to have a few drug interactions. You also cannot take it if you have blood pressure issues, heart conditions, or emotional disorders. Which makes it hard to prescribe.

What others are saying:

You will know right away if it doesn’t work for you. The biggest problem is a sudden and severe depression within the first two weeks. Muscle pain and weakness are common in the first three months. It can cause migraines to become more frequent and severe. 

Depo-Provera – this shot is to be taken every three months. It does help to control bleeding and pain for some women. It is great at preventing pregnancy. The downside is that there is no guarantee that it will work. Since it has to be taken every three months, you may not be able to stop it if you have severe side effects. You can’t use it with certain medications including seizure medications. 

What others are saying:

Most women saw a reduction in pain and bleeding but had significant weight gain. There was a complaint that there was a significant increase in migraines and moodiness. Most women felt that the benefits outweighed most side effects. 

Medroxyprogesterone – This is a birth control pill that is not like the others. You do not take it every day. You may not start it at the same time of each month. It is designed to help prevent the growth of uterine tissue and the release of eggs. It is specifically designed to help with abnormal bleeding. It is a great way to treat endo for that very reason. 

What others are saying:

The biggest complaint is depression or a sense of emptiness. If you already have trouble with depression, this is not the medication for you. Vaginitis is also fairly common. Abdominal pain tends to get worse before it gets better. Hair loss is a major concern for anyone taking this medication. It will cause thinning of the hair. 

Goserelin – this is another implant designed to control hormone growth. It is used for both endometriosis and breast cancer. This implant can help to control hormone growth which should help to alleviate the pain and bleeding of endometriosis. There are some contradictions. You cannot use it if you have blood pressure issues or are diabetic. It can be safe for some women while pregnant. The most common use is in preparation for ablation as it helps to control the growth of the uterine lining. 

What others are saying:

Many endo warriors said that this medication did help with their endo symptoms, but it did cause some side effects of its own. For instance, it caused more bladder infections, painful urination, and painful bowel movements. It did add to sexual discomfort and vaginal dryness. You may have more back pain and back weakness while using it. Weight loss was experienced by some patients. 

While this list is not the complete list of all medications, it does help you to see the options that may be suggested to you. You could always find a support group, either online or in-person, to help you to better understand these medications or medications you have been prescribed. As always, keep asking questions until you feel satisfied with the answers that you are given.   Knowledge is your best tool. Use it to take control of your endometriosis. You are not alone. You are an endo warrior. That makes you stronger than you may think.

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