Hormonal contraceptives are widely used for contraception and generally accepted. They contain low doses of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and can reduce pain associated with endometriosis by stopping follicular growth and hence reducing the production and concentration of estrogens. Low estrogens stop the activity of the growth of the endometrium in and outside the uterus, and thus pause endometriosis. The progesterone in the pill decreases the activity of the endometrium directly.
The side effects are limited and hormonal contraceptives are not expensive. Your doctor can prescribe different types of hormonal contraceptives:
Women with endometriosis are often advised to take hormonal birth control continuously (back to back packs) for three or more months. This concept is to reduce the amount of withdrawal bleeds and pain, however some women experience breakthrough spotting and bleeding.
Discuss this option and the side effects with your doctor. Your GP and Gynaecologist can prescribe this type of treatment in Ireland.