By Paul J.O'Brien B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Adv. Dip. OBB, Cert Clin. Med, Cert.CHM, M.AFPA, M.ETCMA, M.C.Th.A.
Treating Endometriosis is not wonderfully successful within Western Medicine. At best they can suspend endometriosis. They have just a few options:
I'll explain these "options" in detail.
Generally the first approach of western Medicine is surgery. This surgery is usually done with a laser or via diathermy (electrically induced heat to burn off endometrial tissue). Treating Endometriosis this way is done to remove the severe types of endometriosis such as the chocolate cyst type. If this is successfully removed from key areas like the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and *if* this was the only cause of infertility, then the chances of natural conception rise dramatically.
However, this is rarely the case.
Mild endometriosis such as the pink or non-pigmented kind may still be present. Surgery is far less successful in dealing with this, as they can't find and remove all those lesions. Those lesions then continue to secret mucus that prevents conception and pregnancy.
Another factor that must be considered before surgery is that in some cases the removal of endometrial tissue can damage ovarian tissue and reduce ovarian reserve (1), lowering your chances of conception and shortening the window of fertility.
And endometriosis is rarely the only problem preventing pregnancy.
Treating Endometriosis with multiple drug regimens that are proving popular in many fertility clinics, though I confess I am NOT a fan of these for the most part. I'll explain why in a moment. First though, let's look at the meds they prescribe and why.
The goal of all these medications is to prevent ovulation and the release of hormones of a normal menstrual cycle. As such they prescribe drugs that mimic the effect of pregnancy in your body. For example, Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) or Duphaston (dydrogesterone).
Sometimes treating Endometriosis will go so far as to induce MENOPAUSE! Well, temporarily at any rate.
This is done through increasing testosterone based chemicals in your body via medications like Danocrine, Danazol or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) drugs such as Zoladex (goserelin) or Synarel (nafarelin). Or they'll just put you on a constant, continuous run of the oral contraceptive pill.
Regardless of their method - the end goal is the same. Your menstrual cycle - and your ability to get pregnant - stops. The thinking here being your endometriosis will be "starved" and die out.
Women are often put on these meds for 3-9 months and it is not pretty. Most women do not tolerate these drugs well, leading to a host of unpleasant side effects including:
That's not a nice list, treating Endometriosis can cause loss of muscle control, to peeing yourself and seizures and bad mood.
For months. You can see why I'm not a fan. Particularly when there are natural methods of treatment that have a "total effective rate ('cured', 'significantly effective' or 'effective') of 91.9%". (5)
Further, I would also add that the Cochrane review found that ovulation-suppressing medications such as Danazol, progestins, the oral contraceptive pill and GnRH agonists produced no beneficial results in infertile women and delayed live births.
In the next article I'll continue the options for treating Endometriosis with the role of IVF...
If you want to go to the next level of detail and look at in-depth self-treatment, you should check out Before IVF: Everything You Need to Know ABout IVF. How it works, why it doesn't and what you can do to ensure your IVF Success. Written from a holistic viewpoint I go into greater detail about what causes Endometriosis, how to prevent, diagnose the different types and understand your body and your health. More than that I'll walk you through, step by step on how to diagnose the exact type of endometriosis you have, how it will affect your fertility - but, most importantly, what to about it! Packed with pressure point exercises, self massage techniques, foods, recipe guides and more, this is the best way to avoid IVF and get pregnant with Endometriosis, naturally.
If you’re trying for a family or dealing with Endometriosis and want to eliminate those symptoms and give each cycle your best the best possible shot of success and dramatically improve your fertility and reproductive health, to have a happy healthy baby, then …
(1) Somigliana E,Berlanda N, Benaglia L, et al. Surgical excision of endometriosis and ovarian reserve: a systematic review on serum anti-Mullerian hormone level modifications. Fertil Steril 2012;98:1531-8.
(5) Zhu, Xiaoshu, Kindreth D. Hamilton, and Ewan D. McNicol. "Acupuncture for pain in endometriosis." Sao Paulo Medical Journal 131, no. 6 (2013): 439-439.