To Pill or Not to Pill: One Woman’s Journey to Deal with Endometriosis

I previously wrote a post mentioning that I would be having an exploratory laparoscopic surgery for suspected endometriosis in early December. Well, that has come and gone, and I did, in fact, have endometriosis. They cauterized the implants, which is a temporary treatment but not a permanent cure.

So, now what?

Two weeks after the surgery, my women’s health doctor suggested that I go on a birth control pill cycle that would make me have a period every three months.  Now, while I am definitely for women having the choice to go on the pill or not, I personally didn’t feel comfortable with the fact that I would be giving this much control over my body to synthetic hormones.

I had been on birth control between ages 15 and 22 to treat the symptoms that I now know were brought on by the endometriosis.  During that time I had headaches almost every day, which caused me to rely on ibuprofen and caffeine.  I would have migraines monthly.  Debilitating cramps were still a monthly visitor.  I also didn’t feel the same mind-body connectedness that I feel now.  When I went off of the pill, it took me a year of dealing with severe acne before my hormones finally rebalanced.

Therefore, when my doctor stated to me that the pill was the only way to keep the implants at bay, I had my reservations.  I didn’t want to return to those migraines and headaches, or have another horrible acne breakout if I ever decided to go off the pill and have kids – imagine how the lack of self-esteem could affect you during that!  And yet, I also didn’t want the endometriosis to go untreated.  Ultimately, I felt trapped.

Here’s where the journey begins…

I decided to visit a naturopath and see if there was an alternative, more natural way to dealing with endometriosis.  She gave me multiple tools to help treat my symptoms naturally.  Having a healthy liver is one of the major components in creating balance with the hormones.  Because I have started this journey so recently, I do not know if this will make a difference, but I’d still like to try all my options.  I believe in working with the body, rather than forcing it into anything.  I also believe that a doctor’s word isn’t final, and they are just trying to help in the only way they know how.  Sometimes I think our culture in America relies too much on a “quick fix” in the form of pills and synthetic drugs, when we could be trying something a little more holistic.  If this more natural approach does not work for me, I may have to rethink my feelings towards pharmaceuticals.  However, I owe it to myself to at least listen to my instincts, and give the more natural treatment a go!

If you have any experience with endometriosis and would like to share your own techniques for dealing with it, natural or not, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment below.

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