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Endometriosis (Endo) is a common health problem and affects more than 10% of women of childbearing age. It happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus and on other areas where it doesn't belong. Endometriosis growths are not cancerous, but may swell and bleed, causing other problems. Although there is no cure for endometriosis, a variety of treatment options exist.

Get the Treatment You Need

Treatment for endometriosis usually involves medication or surgery, depending on signs and symptoms. Surgery is typically a final resort treatment if initial treatments fail. Alpha prescribes FDA-approved medications.

Hormonal Contraceptives

If you are not trying to get pregnant, hormonal birth control is generally the first step in treatment. Hormonal treatment can be effective in reducing or eliminating the pain of endometriosis, and works only as long as it is used.

Birth Control Pill
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The pill is a hormone medication that you take daily. The combination pill contains both estrogen and progestin and requires a blood pressure reading. The mini pill contains progestin only and doesn't require a blood pressure reading.

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  • Sprintec
Birth Control Patch
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The contraceptive skin patch is a small (1.75 square inch), thin, adhesive patch that you place on your skin every month. It is removed every 3 or 4 weeks. The patch releases both estrogen and progestin, which are absorbed through the skin into the body.

  • Xulane
Birth Control Ring
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The vaginal ring is a flexible, plastic ring that is placed in the upper vagina. It releases estrogen and progestin that are absorbed through the vaginal tissues into the body. It is removed every 3 or 4 weeks.

  • Nuvaring
Birth Control Shot
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Depo-subQ Provera 104 is a shot (injection) that helps relieve endometriosis related pain. It contains a hormone called medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). The shot is given once every 3 months, just under the skin on your thigh or belly, and can be self-administered.

  • Depo-SubQ Provera 104
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Norethindrone 5mg is a form of progesterone, a female hormone important for regulating ovulation and menstruation. The medication dosages need to be adjusted for treatment of endometriosis related pain.

  • Norethindrone 5 mg (generic for Aygestin)

GnRH Agonist or Antagonists

If you are trying to get pregnant, you may be prescribed a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist or antagonists. These medications stop the body from making the hormones responsible for ovulation, the menstrual cycle, and the growth of endometriosis.

GnRH Agonist or Antagonists
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  • Elagolix (generic for Orilissa)

If you're suffering from endometriosis, prescription strength medication can offer fast relief.

Get Treated
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Learn About Endometriosis

Do you have endo? What are common symptoms and risk factors?

Symptoms & Risk Factors
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  • Very painful menstrual cramps, which may get worse over time
  • Chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis
  • Pain during or after sex, which is usually described as a "deep" pain and is different from pain felt at the entrance to the vagina when penetration begins
  • Intestinal pain
  • Painful bowel movements or pain when urinating during menstrual periods
  • Heavy menstrual periods or bleeding/spotting between menstrual periods
  • Infertility, or not being able to get pregnant
  • Digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstrual periods

risk factors

  • Having a mother, sister, or daughter with endometriosis
  • Starting periods at an early age (before age 11)
  • Having short monthly cycles (less than 27 days)
  • Having heavy menstrual periods that last more than 7 days
  • Infertility
Tips & Advice
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  • Increase intake of omega-3 fats, like salmon and walnuts
  • Avoid red meat since it encourages the body to produce prostaglandins, which may lead to more estrogen production and may cause growth of endometrial tissue
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables since fiber may help decrease estrogen concentration in the body
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Exercise regularly to help decrease stress; endorphins may help relieve pain
  • Some women report relief from pain with therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic care
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What is the link between infertility and endometriosis?

Almost 50% of women with infertility have endometriosis. Inflammation from endometriosis may damage the sperm or egg or interfere with their movement through the fallopian tubes and uterus. In severe cases of endometriosis, the fallopian tubes may be blocked by adhesions or scar tissue.

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