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Minerva Ginecologica 2010 August;62(4):373-80

language: English

Treatment of endometriosis: a hormonal approach

Budinetz T. 1, Sanfilippo J. S. 2

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA, USA;
2 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA


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Endometriosis continues to plague women of reproductive age. It is a chronic disease leading to a decreased quality of life, infertility, and increased societal costs. The gold standard for diagnosis remains visualization and or biopsy of lesions at the time of intraoperative diagnosis, i.e. laparoscopy or laparotomy. The severity of pain does not correlate with the stage of endometriosis, which complicates the treatment process. Hormonal therapies have long been used as a treatment for endometriosis. Therapy is targeted at symptom relief as a cure is lacking. While some regimes use hormonal therapy exclusively, others combine such with surgical excision of lesions. Although hormonal modalities are successful in alleviating or suppressing symptoms, they fail to treat the infertility associated with endometriosis. Therefore, those, desiring to achieve pregnancy should be excluded from hormonal treatment in the short term. Future studies are needed to understand the pathophysiology and allow design of specific, targeted treatment.

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jsanfilippo@mail.magee.edu