Gynaecologist & Endoscopic Surgeon

Does the oral contraceptive pill help with endometriosis?

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Endometriosis is tissue that responds to the influence of hormones produced by the ovaries. Under normal circumstances ovulation is accompanied by the release of a large concentration of these hormones within the pelvis which act locally on the nearby endometriosis. If you stop ovulating, either by going through the menopause or taking the oral contraceptive pill, the high concentration of hormones active within the pelvis is substantially reduced to much lower levels. These lower levels have less effect on the endometriosis and hence many people notice some relief from their symptoms.

There is some evidence to suggest that women who use the pill for extended periods have less chance of developing endometriosis. Following from this it is reasonable to use the pill after surgery to help decrease the risk of any recurrence. Unfortunately the pill does not remove or get rid of existing disease. The pill is therefore of no help in getting pregnant if fertility is an issue.

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