Birth Control Pills for treating Endometriosis and Ovarian Cysts

Patient

Q:
Hello I am a 26 year old female, who have been suffering from long term menstrual pains since I started my period at the age of 17. At the age of 18, ovarian cysts were discovered, and a laparascopy was performed to remove the cysts. I was immediately put on birth control pills. Still, I suffered from pain. My gyno assumed I had endometriosis due to the level of pain I was experiencing. Just recently, I decided to stop my birth control pill due to severe migraines and start to deal with my health issues naturally by homeopathic remedies and herbal alternatives. 3 days ago, I had a laparascopic surgery, and my OBGYN discovered small amounts of endometrial tissue and an ovarian cyst. So, my doctor would like to put me back on some medical regimen, such as birth control pills or something of that nature. I know that birth control pills are ideal for treating and controlling endometriosis, but my question is it safe NOT to have a period? Can birth control pills cause you to be infertile? If not, how not?

Doctor

A:   I comprehend your worry about endometriosis; this condition is treated usually with medications or surgery. The approach you and your doctor choose will depend on the severity of your symptoms and your wishes to become pregnant in the near future.
Let me reassure you that hormonal treatment or contraceptives are sometimes effective in reducing or eliminating the pain of endometriosis. That's because the rise and fall of hormones during a woman's menstrual cycle causes endometrial implants to thicken, break down and bleed. However when taking oral contraceptives, a stable dose of hormones will prevent your body to release and egg and also avoid the changes in your uterus. This will not cause you to become infertile; in fact most women just experience a shorter menstrual flow when they're using hormonal contraceptives. I wish you the best.

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