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Find Good Reading » Blog Archive » Lupron And Endometriosis What You Need to Know

Lupron And Endometriosis What You Need to Know

Lupron and endometriosis is something a woman can consider if she has been properly diagnosed by her doctor, and knows that the symptoms she is suffering are caused by endometriosis and not interstitial cystitis.

What is lupron? Lupron Depot, or simply Lupron, is a hormone that has two main stages. First, it stimulates the ovaries so that they increase production of estradiol, which is the strongest of the three estrogens women produce. Second, the hormones that send messages to the ovaries to produce estrogen significantly decline. Therefore, lupron causes a dramatic decrease in estrogen levels in the body which cause women to experience side effects that mimic menopause.

Lupron and endometriosis treatment is short term therapy that last no longer than six months. Lupron is administered to patients by doctors or nurses via an injection.

After the first injection, the fist stage of lupron (increase in estradiol) occurs. During this time, the patient will likely experience an increase in their symptoms. These symptoms will begin to subside after a few weeks when more injections are administered and stage 2 (dramatic decrease in estrogen levels) occurs. As treatment progresses, women generally have lighter or heavier periods, or may experience a complete stop in their menstrual cycle.

Unlike many of the medical treatments for endometriosis, lupron is not a contraceptive, and lupron and endometriosis treatment is not considered safe during pregnancy. Therefore, you will need to abstain from sex or use other forms of contraceptives (I.E. condoms, diaphragms, or non-hormonal oral contraceptives). Should a woman suspect she is pregnant while taking lupron, she should contact her doctor immediately.

Is lupron right for you? Lupron and endometriosis treatment has been FDA approved; however, before you determine whether or not this treatment is right for you, it is essential that you first know the pros and cons of lupron prior to making your decision, and consulting your doctor for more information and recommendations.

The postive side effects – While Lupron can provide pain relief during treatment, its purpose is to provide considerable pain relief for several years. One clinical trial found that more than 60% of women that suffered from mild endometriosis, who participated in the study, were successfully symptom free for five years after stopping treatment. On the other hand, just over 25% of women who suffered from severe endometriosis had the same successful results.

The negative side effects – The following are the negative side effects that may occur from lupron and endometriosis treatment:
• Hot flashes
• Night sweats
• Palpitations
• Syncope (fainting or dizziness caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain)
• Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
• Headache
• Depression
• Nervousness
• Vaginitis (vaginal inflammation often resulting from bacterial infection)
• Loss of libido
• Tenderness or pain in the breasts
• Acne
• Weight gain

Many of the above symptoms mirror menopause symptoms, which is to be expected especially during treatment, due to the low levels of estrogen in the body.

Some women believe that lupron and endometriosis is a dangerous combination. Many women who have received the injections claim to have suffered from severe side effects such as cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), chest pain, confusion, depression, bone pain, loss of vision, extreme fatigue, and high blood pressure. Some women claim that these side effects lasted for a prolonged period of time after treatment was stopped.

Nevertheless, lupron is considered an effective and medically safe treatment for endometriosis, and most of the women who undergo the treatment find that the negative side effects they may experience during treatment are a small price to pay for the long-term relief of their painful endometriosis symptoms.

Are their alternatives to lupron? Yes. If you feel lupron and endometriosis are a risky combination, talk to your doctor about alternative remedies such as –
• Medical remedies - oral contraceptives, progestins, etc.
• Holistic treatments - acupuncture, hypnosis, elimination diet, etc.
• Surgery – Laparoscopy, etc.

By Shelley Ross. To find out more about endometriosis diagnosis and for information on endometriosis characteristics please visit Treat Endometriosis, where you can also sign up for a free newsletter focusing on treating endometriosis.

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