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Understanding Endometriosis and Birth Control Pills

Endometriosis is a chronic and progressive condition controlled by hormone levels. So, to better understand the cause and relief of the painful symptoms of endometriosis in women, it’s worth taking a look at the relationship between endometriosis and birth control pills.


Endometriosis is a condition that can affect women once they have reached puberty and have started menstruation. It usually affects women between the ages of 20 and 40, although there are more cases of young women and girls diagnosed.

Ongoing abdominal pain that can worsen during menstruation, as well as pain in other parts of the body, characterize endometriosis. This is the main symptom of endometriosis, but it is usually the most debilitating of all the endometriosis symptoms.

Endometriosis gets its name from endometrial tissue similar to that found in the endometrium (lining of the uterus) that grows in other parts of the body, usually in the pelvic cavity.

Every month, if pregnancy does not occur, these tissues, wherever they are located in the body, grow, shed and bleed. A process controlled by the female hormone, estrogen. For endometrial tissue outside the uterus, this results in inflammation and scarring, as there is no place for the unwanted tissue to go.

Over time, this buildup and adhesions can form. These are cords of scar tissue that bind the organs together and can affect the flexibility of the reproductive organs, causing infertility. Since endometriosis is related to hormones, the symptoms tend to worsen during menstruation.

By controlling hormones, the symptoms of endometriosis can be minimized. This is where birth control pills come in.

Birth control pills

Birth control pills are primarily developed to help prevent pregnancy among women. These oral contraceptives work by regulating female hormones. Birth control pills regulate the levels of estrogen and another hormone, progesterone, in the body.

Therefore, when a woman takes birth control pills, her estrogen level decreases and progesterone increases, which stops the growth of endometrial tissue. By doing so, birth control can easily be used as a treatment for endometriosis and its symptoms.

For mild to moderate endometriosis, taking the pill is an option to discuss with your doctor as a way to manage symptoms.

When you take the pill for endometriosis instead of just for contraceptive reasons, you will take the active pills continuously. This means that you will not have a period since your body thinks that you are pregnant. By doing this, you may experience some spotting as your body adjusts to the pill.

However, there are some side effects to be aware of and you will need to decide if the pain of endometriosis outweighs the risks of taking the pill. Side effects can include weight gain, acne, and facial hair growth.

With surgical options becoming more available, you may want to talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of using the pill to control your symptoms.

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Endometriosis and birth control pills have one thing in common: hormones: Endometriosis is directly influenced by the levels of hormones in a woman’s body and the pill regulates those hormones.


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