Surgery: What are the pros and cons of taking hormones as well?
Taking hormones after having surgery for endometriosis can possibly improve the treatment outcomes. But hormone products such as GnRH analogues often have side effects and reduce fertility during the treatment.
Endometriosis develops when the kind of tissue that lines the womb (endometrium) starts to grow elsewhere in the abdomen. If these areas of endometriosis tissue (endometrial implants) are very painful or reduce a woman's fertility, she may wish to have surgery.
The aim of this surgery is to remove as many endometrial implants as possible. Some specialists hope that a combination of surgery and hormone therapy could improve the chances of success. In this approach, women take hormone medication before and/or after having the surgery. The aim is to make the surgery easier and improve the outcomes.
Hormone therapy involves using a medication that suppresses the production of hormones in the ovaries. One option is known as GnRH analogues (gonadotropin-releasing hormones). But these medications can have a number of side effects, including increased body hair growth, hot flashes and bone loss.
Hormonal contraceptives such as the birth control pill can be used instead of GnRH analogues. They usually contain progestins and estrogens, and are generally better tolerated than GnRH analogues are. Women are very unlikely to become pregnant during hormone therapy.