- Are effective on pain and can stop the growth of lesions, provided that they are administered continuously (no periods).
- When administered to patients who have undergone surgery, they significantly reduce risk of recurrences.
- However, they have an unavoidable contraceptive effect and may lead to adverse effects that prompt patients to discontinue treatment (metrorhagia and spotting, weight gain, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, etc).
- If treatment is stopped lesions are very likely to develop once again, and the impact of the treatment on pain is generally lost after a few months. For this reason, the treatment should be used until the age of menopause.
There is little scientific data on the long-term effectiveness of medical treatment. Consquently for a young woman aged 25 with endometriosis and prescribed medical treatment, the probability that she will avoid future surgery is presently unknown. The subsequent appearance of adenomyosis may alter the results of the medical treatment and make it difficult to achieve amenorrhea. The MESURE (MEdical versus Surgical management of Rectal Endometriosis) randomized trial, which compares the results of medical versus surgical treatment in women with rectal endometriosis, started in 2014 at Rouen University Hospital by Prof. Roman, with results expected in 2022, will provide more precise information on the effectiveness of each treatment in a given situation.