Endometriosis is estimated to occur in 10-15 % of the female population. Endometriosis is endometrium (“metri” means uterus, “endo” refers to inside lining) in the wrong location. Endometrium is stimulated by and supported by the hormone estrogen. The rationale for medical suppression with Lupron (medication that temporarily takes estrogen out of your system) is that if we could take the estrogen temporarily out of the patient’s system, then the endometriosis would just dry up and go away.
MINIMALLY INVASIVE TREATMENT VS. MEDICATIONS FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS RELIEF
Medical suppression can sometimes give good short-term pain relief, but the endometriosis and pain are still there when you inevitably come off the medication. This means that endometriosis can survive and remain viable in very low-estrogen environments. Therefore, endometriosis can continue to cause problems after menopause, after hysterectomy with removal of both ovaries, and after prolonged treatment with medications such as Lupron, Danocrine, Depo-Provera, Mirena IUD, and continuous birth control pills.
It is better to excise the endometriosis and be done with the pain. Most referral centers for endometriosis use excision. Most of these surgeons do not use Lupron suppression postoperatively since it is expensive, does not cure endometriosis, has awful side effects, and it is not needed if all the endometriosis has been thoroughly excised.
SIDE EFFECTS OF USING LUPRON
Lupron causes estrogen-withdrawal symptom like hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and Lupron can cause Loss of Bone Mass (Osteoporosis), severe Depression, and problems with Memory and Concentration.
HOW LONG DO PATIENTS USUALLY TAKE LUPRON FOR?
Lupron was originally used for 3-6 months duration, but some patients are continued on Lupron for years, during which time these women still have pain and are unable to fully enjoy life.
CAN I TAKE LUPRON WHILE TRYING TO CONCEIVE?
You cannot be on medications such as Lupron if you are trying to conceive. It is better to excise the endometriosis, give yourself the best chance for pain relief, and not have to take medications.