What is the best way to treat severe endometriosis pain?
I have suffered from this for 4 years and had surgery to laser off endo growths from my abdominal cavity three years ago. The endo came back and about a year ago I started depo shots, which stopped the periods and helped. Sometimes the depo seems to wear off early and I will have a period with intense pain. I am trying to find other options to treat the pain besides anti-inflammatories, which have caused ulcers. Any ideas as to what would help with the pain? I plan to have children and would like to avoid a hysterectomy for at least three years.
The more answers I read on here to questions about Endo, the more I realize the complete lack of factual information that still abounds throughout society concerning this disease. It’s quite staggering and unbelieveable that in 2006 – almost 2007 – doctors are still telling their patients that their options are superficial laser ablation/vaporization, pregnancy, hystererectomy or drug therapy. It’s no wonder women and girls find this disease impossible to live with and confusing, and are not able to choose successful options to help them feel better – their doctors are all practicing medicine like it was 1935.
Here are some facts – real facts, grounded in science and current research, not old wive’s tales that certain physicians are still espousing.
#1) There is no absolute cure for Endometriosis – not pregnancy, not hysterectomy, not menopause – BUT there are ways to live well with it. Telling a patient that their options are to have a hysterectomy or a “prescribed pregnancy” is just plain bad medicine.
#2) The key is to remove disease, not organs. Lack of a period does not equal cured Endo. Of course the disease will “come back” after superficial surgeries and drug therapies – it was never removed in the first place.
You need to have the Endo removed from ALL locations (and yes, it’s possible) in order to feel better. Anything less is just a temporary, stop-gap measure.
#3) Studies show time and again that surgical removal through meticulous, advanced excision can alleviate painful symptoms and infertility for the long term, even in stage III and IV patients. For example, one Endo treatment specialty center (centerforendo.com) has a better than 50% success rate in their stage 4 Endo-related infertility patients, and 75% in their stage III infertility patients, and a better than 80% success rate overall in all stages for non-recurrence of pain and other symptoms; in some cases, 20 yrs. out.
Remove disease, not organs. Get the help of a true specialist, someone who’s practice is dedicated to the care and treatment of women with this disease. Someone who has advanced endoscopic surgery skills, not just some average Joe Gyn who took a weekend laser course and now “zaps” Endo in between delivering babies and prescribing Lupron to patients. Someone who understands the enigmatic, invasive nature of the disease and takes it seriously. Help is out there, it’s just sometimes really hard to see through all the BS thrown at us from the medical establishment at large.
See http://www.centerforendo.com, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/erc, http://www.endoexcision.com, http://www.endometriosistreatment.org, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/endodocs and http:www.endocenter.org for more info and support. You’re not alone. Good luck to you, and find a better doctor worthy of treating you with accuracy and compassion – someone who will help you get your life back and not force an ineffective treatment down your throat.