Friday, January 31, 2014

Endometriosis: Sometimes the Cure Is Worse Than The Problem

Endometriosis is commonly thought of as a condition associated with mid-life women, but in truth, it spares no age group. Any menstruating woman can have endometriosis, whether they are a teen or heading towards their last tampons.  It is estimated that approximately 7 to 10 percent of premenopausal women have endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition in which the glandular tissue that normally lines the uterine cavity appears other places, such as the lining of the pelvis, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowel, bladder, and even unusual places like the lung. Each month during menstruation, this tissue responds to hormonal changes, just like the tissue that lines the uterine cavity. Since it is not where it’s supposed to be, various problems can ensue, such as scar tissue, inflammation, ovarian cysts, painful intercourse, infertility, and excruciatingly painful periods that get worse with time. The degree of pain is not necessarily related to the visible severity of endometriosis. Women appear to have minimal endometriosis sometimes suffer the most.

Treatment Options for Endometriosis
Not every woman requires treatment, but if someone has progressively painful periods, painful sex or other symptoms associated with endometriosis, there are a number of options:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), hormonal contraceptives, or progestin IUD’s such as Mirena or Skyla give adequate relief to many women. In some cases surgery is necessary to remove scar tissue, painful ovarian cysts or deep pelvic implants.  Some women with severe endometriosis require temporary total suppression of their hormones either in lieu of surgery, pre or post surgery.  This is done using an injectable gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) analogue to temporarily shut off estrogen production and suppress menses, causing endometrial implants, inflammation, and cysts to become inactive and regress.--The good news is that there is nothing better (short of a hysterectomy) to relieve symptoms from endometriosis. The bad news--because with this treatment GnRH shuts off estrogen, many women experience the same symptoms as a women in menopause including hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. So be prepared.

Talk to your doctor about using an estrogen or progestin supplements to relieve symptoms. Know that this is a temporary situation, which will dramatically help in the long run. And don’t even think about having intercourse without using a really slippery silicone lube. My favorite product is Wet Platinum Premium Silicone Lubricant. Not only is it super slippery and long lasting, but also you don’t have to go to an erotica shop to buy it. It’s right in your drugstore, next to the hand held fan you should pick up to help with the hot flashes. Or if you rather not buy it in person, it is now available online and is shipped with discreet packaging.  Go to to order Wet Brand products.

by Lori S. Choi, Blogger and Advice Columnist for Wet

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