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Can endometriosis be prevented?

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health

The cause of endometriosis is poorly understood. There is certainly a genetic component, as sisters are likely to both have the problem. While we don't have anything that prevents the disease, proper treatment can make an impact on preventing the damage endometriosis can cause. The goal is to prevent the endometrial implants from forming and to decrease the implant activity. Combined hormonal birth control pills have been used for many years. While this may be effective in very mild cases of endometriosis, some studies show that women with a clear diagnosis of endometriosis generally do not benefit from this plan. GnRH agonists, a group of medications that stimulate the hypothalamus and cause hypothalamic production of GnRH to decrease, are very effective. The duration of treatment using GnRH is limited. Surgical removal of endometrial implants can also relieve symptoms and preserve fertility for a limited time. A hysterectomy removing the uterus and also removing the ovaries is usually a last resot. There are several other approaches currently under investigation. This is an active and rapidly changing area of medicine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.