The diagnosis of endometriosis still faces certain limitations in France. According to the
French association for the fight against endometriosis (EndoFrance), the diagnosis is
generally made 7 years after the first signs of the disease.
If you are unable to get pregnant, or if you have severe pain during and/or between periods, your doctor will ask you to have a gynaecological examination.
He will prescribe an ultrasound scan of the pelvis to identify any lesions of endometriosis. This may be a tansrectal or transvaginal ultrasound, or even an MRI if the first ultrasound is insufficient.
Medically, the treatment of endometriosis is mainly through medication prescribed by the
doctor or through surgery. While the aim of medication is to calm the pain by blocking the
production of female hormones, the aim of surgery is to remove the lesions that are the
direct cause of the pain.
The treatment adopted, however, differs according to the organs affected by the fragments of endometrial tissue (endometrium) present outside the uterine cavity. It is adapted to meet the needs of each case effectively and varies from patient to patient.
The management of this disease must be done by a multidisciplinary team. It must also be personalised to adapt to the symptoms and expectations of the patient. In order to optimise this care and shorten the time to diagnosis, France has set up multidisciplinary health centres for early detection of endometriosis.
There is no definitive treatment for endometriosis. However, there are some medicines and
natural tips that can help relieve the pain associated with this disease. These solutions
can also help prevent the onset of symptoms in some cases.
Here are the different treatments that can help ease the pain:
Hormonal treatments reduce the pain of endometriosis. However, they have no influence on fertility and
do not solve the problem permanently. However,
they do block the secretion of ovarian hormones, which reduces bleeding.
The most common hormone treatments include
This intrauterine device is completely covered by a progestin and
is inserted directly into the uterus. The Mirena® IUD significantly reduces
menstrual periods and endometriosis pain. It is replaced every 5 years.
The use of this IUD can lead to undesirable effects: uninterrupted periods, particularly during the first few months after its insertion.
The contraceptive pill is taken every day, continuously and without
interruption. It is used to relieve pain in some patients, prevent oestrogen
deficiency, reduce menstrual cycles and provide a contraceptive solution.
It releases hormones which then inhibit ovulation and prevent the release of hormones from the pituitary gland which stimulate the ovaries.
This hormonal treatment blocks the production of oestrogen by the
ovaries, thus causing an artificial menopause. It abolishes menstruation in most
cases, thus relieving the pain associated with endometriosis.
Treatment with danazol may last 6-9 months and there may be side effects, but these will disappear when the treatment is stopped:
- Hot flashes
- Acne and facial hair outbreaks
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness
This is a progestogen that your doctor injects into your
buttocks every 3 months. It contains a hormone that blocks ovulation and
abolishes or reduces the periods and pain caused by endometriosis.
Possible side effects of Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Injectable Suspension (MPS) include weight gain (in some women) and the appearance of small spots during the cycle. In addition, its use can cause mood changes. Finally, in some patients ovulation does not always return immediately after stopping the treatment.
These treatments prevent the activation of the pituitary gland
by Gn-RH (hormones from the hypothalamus), which causes a menopause. The
treatment is taken by injection, every month and the treatment should not last
longer than 6 months.
Possible side effects:
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
Anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) or aspirin, etc.) or acetaminophen
(Tylenol®) can help to relieve pelvic pain caused by endometriosis. If necessary, the doctor
can directly prescribe certain anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naprosyn®.
The use of a heating pad is sometimes sufficient to reduce the pain.
In the following cases, the doctor may decide to use surgery to remove cysts and lesions
caused by fragments of endometrial tissue in the abdomen:
At present, there are no comprehensive studies on the various natural health products that can be used to treat endometriosis. To relieve the symptoms, some professionals sometimes recommend that their patients use ash or viburnum bark, dandelion root and chasteberry. It is best to consult a recognised naturopath or herbalist for more information. Here are the most common natural solutions:
More or less intense pain, constant fatigue... endometriosis leads to a number of factors
that make life difficult for patients, both in terms of intimacy and socially and
professionally. However, it is possible to live with this disease.
For example, instead of concentrating your household chores on one day, you can spread them out over the week. Also, don't hesitate to rest whenever you feel the need.
There are many symptoms to identify the endometriosis. To know more, you can find a list at endometriosis-symptoms.com