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Lupron Depo Endometriosis Treatment - An Overview

Lupron Depo is an endometriosis treatment that comprises a GnRH agonist, a hormone that reduces the levels of the hormone, estrogen, in the woman's body. Lupron Depo is an abbreviation of leuprolide acetate for depot suspension. It is prescribed for women who report severe symptoms that interfere with their daily lives as well as those with moderate symptoms.

Treatment with Lupron Depo is continued for 6 months, with injections given monthly. The treatment is not a cure for endometriosis, but for many women suffering the painful symptoms of the disease are grateful for an endometriosis treatment that allows them to get on with their lives.

How does it work?
There are 2 phases to Lupron Depo endometriosis treatment. The first phase works by stimulating the ovaries to produce increased levels of the hormone, estradiol, the strongest estrogen a woman produces. The second phase sees a decline in the over-all level of estrogen produced by the ovaries caused by a blocking of the hormone that stimulates this production.

When the level of estrogen drop dramatically, the situation mimics menopause and menstruation generally ceases. Without the hormones that prompt the menstrual cycle to function, the endometrial implants shrink and become inactive. This relieves the symptoms of pain and discomfort associated with endometriosis.

What are the benefits of Lupron Depo?
The most obvious benefit is the relief of the endometriosis symptoms so many women live with. The intense, cramping pain is reduced, painful intercourse and urination is eased and the impact endometriosis has on the lives of many women is alleviated.

The benefits continue to be felt after the medication has ceased. When clinical trials were conducted, 63% of women, who had been given a diagnosis of mild endometriosis, reported being free from symptoms for 5 years after the Lupron Depo treatment was finished. During the same trials, 26% of women with a diagnosis of severe endometriosis said they were still free from their symptoms in the same timeframe.

Lupron Depo is also prescribed as a prostate cancer treatment for men and for children who have been diagnosed with early puberty onset. It may be used prior to assisted reproduction techniques are started to increase their efficacy.

Are there side effects with Lupron Depo?
Hormone levels are raised during the first weeks of treatment which may cause an increase in endometriosis symptoms. This will settle as hormones drop to a level commonly seen during menopause. This is the reason most women don't have a period while they are on the treatment.

The most common side effects with Lupron Depo endometriosis treatment are similar to those of menopause – night sweats, hot flashes and mild confusion. Less common side effects include tachycardia and palpitations, general body and joint pain, nausea or vomiting, headaches, weight gain, fluid retention, acne, loss of libido, dizziness, anxiety or depression, breast tenderness or pain. Although the list of possible side effects is fairly long, the treatment is not dangerous and most women feel that the side effects are a small price to pay for relief from their endometriosis symptoms.

This treatment is not the same as the oral contraceptive drugs and it is possible to conceive during the early stages of receiving the treatment; contraceptives of a non-hormonal nature may need to be used.

Lupron Depo endometriosis treatment is effective and widely accepted by the medical fraternity.

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