It's helpful to first understand what endometriosis is. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus, called the endometrium, starts to grow outside the uterus. This often results in pain, especially during menstruation. Endometriosis can start with a person's first menstrual period and then can last until menopause. Birth control pills are one of the treatment options used to manage the symptoms of endometriosis. Here's how they help:
Reduction of Menstrual Flow: Birth control pills can decrease the volume of menstrual flow. Less menstrual flow can reduce the amount of endometrial tissue that may become implanted in other parts of the body.
Hormonal Regulation: Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent condition. Birth control pills alter the hormonal environment, specifically reducing the levels of estrogen, which can slow the growth and activity of endometrial tissue outside the uterus.
Suppressing Ovulation: Birth control pills prevent ovulation. Without ovulation, the cyclic hormonal changes that can stimulate endometrial tissue growth and activity are suppressed.
Decreasing Pain: By regulating hormones and suppressing menstruation, birth control pills can reduce or eliminate the cyclical pelvic pain associated with endometriosis.
Pseudo-Decidualization: Continuous use of birth control pills without the typical week-off or placebo week can lead to a process called pseudo-decidualization. This is where the endometrial tissue is transformed into a state that makes it less active and less painful.
Preventing Formation of New Lesions: By modulating the hormonal environment, birth control pills can reduce the likelihood of new endometrial tissue lesions forming outside the uterus.
Reduction of Inflammation: Endometriosis is associated with inflammation in the pelvic region. The hormones in birth control pills can help reduce this inflammation, alleviating some of the associated pain and discomfort.
It's important to note that while birth control pills can be effective in managing symptoms of endometriosis, they do not cure the condition. Other treatments, such as surgery or other hormonal therapies, may be necessary depending on the severity and specific circumstances of the disease.
Also worth mentioning is that the effectiveness of birth control pills in treating endometriosis can vary from one individual to another. What works well for one person might not work as effectively for another. Working closely with a healthcare provider can help you find the best treatment approach. Once you've decided on a path with your healthcare provider Emme is here to support you. The Emme app can be used to track symptoms and create a history you can share with your health care provider, and if you do decide to use birth control pills to manage your endometriosis Emme can help make sure you take your pills on a consistent daily routine.