Best Treatment Options for Endometriosis

The best treatment options for endometriosis depend on a few factors. Your healthcare provider will help create your treatment plan for endometriosis based on:

  • The severity of your endometriosis.
  • Your plans for future pregnancies.
  • Your age.
  • The severity of your symptoms (often pain).

In many cases, your treatment plan will focus primarily on managing your pain and improving fertility issues (if you are planning on a future pregnancy). Some common treatment options include:

  1. Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, can help relieve the pain associated with endometriosis.
  2. Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy can help regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce the growth and proliferation of endometrial tissue. Options include birth control pills, progesterone, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists.
  3. Surgery: In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove endometrial tissue or to repair any damage to the reproductive organs. This can include:
    • laparoscopy. In this procedure, your surgeon will make a very small cut in your abdomen (< 1 centimeter) and insert a thin tube-like tool called a laparoscope into your body. This tool can be used to see inside your body and identify endometriosis with a high-definition camera. Additional 5-millimeter instruments can then be used to excise and remove lesions.
    • laparotomy. Laparotomy is a surgical procedure that involves making a large incision in the abdominal wall to access the pelvic organs. It is a more invasive surgical option compared to laparoscopy. Laparotomy may be used for the treatment of endometriosis in cases where the disease is severe, widespread, or in hard-to-reach areas.
    • hysterectomy. In severe cases, your surgeon may suggest removing your uterus based on the amount of endometriosis and scar tissue present, if you have other uterine conditions like adenomyosis and your desire for future fertility. If you have a hysterectomy, areas of endometriosis should still be excised to optimize your pain relief.
  4. Fertility treatment: If endometriosis is affecting fertility, fertility treatment may be necessary, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
  5. Complementary therapies: Some people find relief from endometriosis symptoms through complementary therapies, such as:
    • acupuncture
    • physical therapy
    • dietary changes.

It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs and goals. Treatment may involve a combination of these options, and it may take some trial and error to find the most effective treatment plan.