No permanent therapy for endometriosis has been found yet. The right type of treatment has to be planned by a doctor specialized in endometriosis (you can find a list of the Italian specialized structures on our website) and it changes based on the case, woman’s age, level of pain, pregnancy wish and gravity of the injuries.
You can proceed in different ways:
• Decreasing the oestrogen level in order to slow down the proliferation of endometriosis: you can do it with a birth control pill or a progestinic (one of the two components of birth control pills), taken for a long period of time so that it inhibits ovulation and controls the illness, reducing also the painful symptoms in most of the patients. Sometimes it’s possible to provoke a forced menopause using Gnrh (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone) rival. The collateral effects of the latter (not always present) are the typical menopause effects: hot flashes, weight gain, night sweating, irritability, calcium loss.
• Surgical therapy, that can be exploratory and/or diagnostic (exploratory laparoscopy) and surgery (laparoscopy or laparotomy).
• During laparoscopy, they make 3-4 small holes on the abdomen and they introduce surgical tools from there, exploring the abdominal cavity looking for potential endometriosic cysts, nodules or adhesions. If there are visible injuries, they remove them and collect some tissue for the subsequent biopsy. The hospitalization lasts around 3 days, the recovery is fast and the scars aren’t very visible.
• Laparotomy is the cut they make, in most cases horizontally, where the pubis is, and it’s more invasive than laparoscopy – the hospitalization is longer and the scar is much more visible compared to the laparoscopy ones. It’s only used in a few cases, when the injuries and adhesions are particularly widespread, while laparoscopy is the main surgical therapy.
• Correct nutrition has a relevant role too; many scientific works showed how eating specific kinds of food can help reduce the risk of endometriosis up to 40% among women who consume more fruit and vegetables. On the contrary, among women who eat big amounts of red meat (beef, ham) the risk increases up to 80-100%. Nutrition helps controlling the symptoms: you need to decrease the ingestion of food that could raise the inflammation level and the subsequent pain, for example red meat, refined food, salt, simple sugar, dairy products; on the other hand, you need to go back to unprocessed food, following the seasons cycle, increasing the daily ingestion of whole cereal, legumes, oil-rich seeds, dried and fresh fruit and lots of vegetables, most of all green leaves.