Hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, hormonal coils, implants, injections and patches are used as potential options for managing endometriosis symptoms. They do not 'cure' endometriosis, but may help to ease pain and other symptoms. It is important to remember what works for one person may not work or be right for another; certain treatments may be particularly appropriate for some individuals, while some may be not recommended. It may sometimes take some fine tuning of different preparations to get the most tolerated and effective pill for an individual.
It is also important that anyone prescribed the pill, or any type of hormonal contraceptive to potentially manage endometriosis symptoms, is counselled about the range of treatments, and the pros of cons of the different types. This should include risks, potential side effects, how to take the medication, any alternative treatment and management options, what to do if they want to stop taking it – as well as the potential benefits for managing their endometriosis symptoms. There should always be a chance to ask questions, and support to make an informed choice based on the individual, with an understanding of why they are being prescribed this medication.
We often hear of those going to the doctor with severe symptoms like pelvic pain that affects day-to-day life being ‘put on the pill’ without proper discussion or consideration of what the underlying issue may be, or even that there could be an underlying disease. The cause of the sometimes debilitating symptoms must be addressed, not ignored or seen as ‘normal’, sometimes only being considered after years of taking medication.
Endometriosis UK continues to campaign for more funding into research to find better treatment and management options for those with the disease, including non-hormonal treatments. It is vital that there is more research into treatments and management options for endometriosis, along with menstrual health as a whole, as these areas have long suffered a dearth in funding compared to other conditions.
*Information is available via our website to help you make informed decisions about your care. We are unable to provide individual medical advice.