Are there any medications which can cure endometriosis?
There are no medications which can cure endometriosis, "melt away" the disease, stop it from coming back etc. If your doctor tells you this then they are either misinformed or trying to gaslight you.
Some medications can help with the symptoms of endometriosis. This is an important distinction because they are not treating the endometriosis lesions themselves. Some women will not find any relief from the Pill, others find it restores their quality of life and helps them to function on a daily basis.
You are in control of your body. In order to make an informed decision you need to have all the facts. If you would like to take the Pill or Zoladex, of course you can. Give yourself time to research the pros and cons of each medication first before taking it, speak to other women to learn of their experiences, as some side effects are irreversible.
Hormonal contraceptives/"the Pill" can help with:
heavy periods as they thin the endometrium
shorter and lighter "periods" if you have a break week and experience breakthrough bleeding
ovulation pain, as ovulation is halted
Zoladex and Lupron are GnRHAs. GnRH analogues are modified versions of a naturally occurring hormone known as gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), which helps to control the menstrual cycle.
Dr Ken Sinervo of the Center for Endo Care says he's "not a big Lupron fan due to many side effects, suggestion that much of their literature was made up leading up to trials, and [I've] seen too many severe side effects. If may be an option for some, but probably the last in my book". GNRHAs can create irreversible side effects including loss of bone density and ovarian function. In the U.K., Zoladex is prescribed "off label", as its intended use is to treat prostate cancer. Please have an informed discussion with your consultant before consenting to any medication.
To learn more you can also follow @rosemariephilip.coach on Instagram - Rosemarie now has Secondary Raynauds Syndrome caused by Lupron. @endogirlsblog also create useful infographics about Lupron.
What painkillers should I take for my endometriosis pain?
Endometriosis can be extremely painful. Remember - it is not normal to vomit, faint or be bedridden due to period pain and you need to see a doctor ASAP.
There is lots of choice in pain relieving medication at the chemist these days, and if you need something stronger, you can speak with your GP. There is no "best" painkiller for endometriosis, so it may take some trial and error to find what's best for you. Here are some examples:
Over the counter
Ibuprofen - e.g. ibuprofen 400mg capsules, Nurofen Meltlets, generic brand slow-release capsules which will give pain relief for up to 12 hours
Co-codamol - high strength
Aspirin is not recommended as periods can get heavier when taking it.
You might also find a hot water bottle or a heat pad soothing too, but be careful not to have them too hot as they can cause erythema ab igne or hot water bottle rash. A warm bath or shower can be relaxing too.
Other medications which can help endometriosis symptoms:
Tranexamic acid can help with very heavy periods and flooding
Do alternative therapies work for endometriosis? What kinds are there?
A small study showed that acupuncture can help with endometriosis pain. Larger studies showed that acupuncture can help with pelvic pain.
Other women try reflexology and find that helps with pain relief.
Some women find relief from CBD oil, an anti-inflammatory diet, omega 3 supplements etc. Perhaps an alternative therapy might work for you - but don't feel you have to try everything, and of course do your own research to see what resonates with you.