There are a wide range of treatment options for endometriosis, and the choice of which one is most appropriate depends on the severity of the condition and whether a pregnancy is desired. Because most standard non-surgical options prevent pregnancy, they’re not appropriate when trying to conceive.
Unfortunately, all the standard treatments have significant side effects, and they often only provide short-term relief. When a couple is trying to conceive, and endometriosis is a factor, it’s crucial both partners understand the condition, especially what promotes endometriosis growth. While surgery is sometimes essential to make conception possible, unless the cycle of factors promoting endometriosis is broken, it will probably return.
The standard treatment options for endometriosis:
- GnRH agonists and antagonists
- Aromatase inhibitors
- Painkiller medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or opioids)
Research into complementary options for endometriosis has increased dramatically in the last few years for two reasons:
- The standard treatment options aren’t very successful, and most of the hormonal options make women infertile or promote ill-health later in life
- Herbal medicine and supplements, especially, have good evidence for halting or resolving endometriosis and raising fertility
When considering how to treat endometriosis, it’s important to consider the factors that drive the condition:
Different approaches and benefits
- Surgery is good at removing endometriosis lesions, but they usually return because the growth factors are unchanged.
- Medication can directly change sex hormone levels, but this option has unwanted side effects, including infertility. Some herbs and supplements alter sex hormones indirectly whilst maintaining or promoting fertility.
- Behavioural and environmental factors are significant causes of inflammation and altered immune state, and they’re potent drivers of endometriosis. Identifying and reducing inflammatory factors and immune imbalance is a practical way to reduce endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a complicated subject, and personalised care is crucial, as each person is different. Fully understanding the factors that encourage the condition is a potent way to manage it. Trying to conceive reduces treatment options, but the root causes of endometriosis apply to all cases.
Endometriosis is a serious, potentially life-defining condition that should be managed quickly and as well as possible. Inflammation and immune imbalance are symptoms of ill health, and we recommend everyone with endometriosis:
- Discovers their Personal Fertility Profile (PFP) and follows the advice to improve their health
- Identifies any dietary factors that are causing immune imbalance and inflammation. 75% of immune cells are in the gut, and calming these down improves immune balance throughout the body. This is why it’s no surprise gut health is closely linked to the condition!
- Tests for personal nutritional and metabolic issues that could be promoting the disease
- Takes herbal combinations and supplements shown to:
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve immune markers
- Balance sex hormones
- Raise fertility after surgery
While surgery is essential for severe endometriosis, adjusting health to reduce inflammation and mobilise the immune system to remove lesions is often possible and will always help manage the disease. Full details are in Standard and Natural treatments.