Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when internal tissue lining from the womb develops on the outside of the womb. This might be in the ovaries or the fallopian tubes.

  1. Causes pain in the abdomen, nausea and heavy periods
  2. Long term condition
  3. Treatable with hormonal medicine
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0 treatment(s) for Endometriosis

Visanne

Visanne

  1. Single-hormone pill
  2. Helps to relieve endometriosis
  3. Taken once a day
Discontinued
Description

Endometriosis is a condition characterised by pain and discomfort in the abdomen, heavy or painful periods, nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, blood in the urine, and difficulty conceiving.  It can sometimes also lead to emotional and psychological distress. In endometriosis, physical symptoms are caused by the development of womb lining tissue outside the womb, most typically in the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

It can occur at any time during a woman’s reproductive life, and less commonly in women who have been through the menopause. According to Endometriosis UK, one in 10 women in the UK is affected by endometriosis. It’s not entirely clear what causes it, but people who have a family member with endometriosis are thought to have an increased risk.

In addition to genetics, some experts think that:

  • retrograde menstruation (where womb lining travels the wrong way along the fallopian tubes and installs itself outside the womb, instead of being expelled through menstrual bleeding)
  • an autoimmune problem (where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue)
  • or the travelling of endometrial cells through the blood and lymphatic pathways

could also be contributing factors.

If you develop symptoms associated with endometriosis, it’s important to see a doctor, so that they can help you get the treatment you need. They may be able to diagnose the problem through an examination, but because the symptoms can also occur in so many other conditions, it’s likely you’ll need to be referred to a specialist (gynaecologist) for tests. This might involve an ultrasound scan or a procedure called a laparoscopy (where a small incision is made in the skin and a tube containing a camera is inserted into it, to see if endometrial tissue is present).

There are several treatments available for endometriosis, although some people may find that symptoms are not serious enough to warrant it. Over-the-counter painkillers can help to relieve feelings of discomfort. The contraceptive pill can also help to reduce the severity of the condition, as it prevents a thick lining from developing on endometrial tissue.

Visanne is a treatment used specifically in endometriosis. It works in a similar way to the pill, by supplementing falling levels of progesterone in the body, and stopping endometrial tissue from becoming too thick prior to menstruation.

Page last reviewed:  25/01/2019
Types of Treatment

In some cases endometriosis symptoms can improve without treatment. But if they don’t, there are a range of options available.

Painkillers, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol can help to alleviate discomfort.

Hormonal treatments can work to reduce symptoms too. Examples of these include the contraceptive pill, the patch, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) such as the Mirena coil and NuvaRing.

Visanne is a single hormone treatment, which works in a similar way to the contraceptive pill, and is specifically intended for endometriosis.

How do they work?

Each month, the female reproductive system readies itself for pregnancy, by releasing an egg to be fertilised by male sperm. This process (menstruation) is regulated in the body by the rising and falling levels of a hormone called progesterone. When levels of progesterone in the body fall, the lining of the uterine wall builds up, so that an egg can more easily implant on it when fertilised. If a woman doesn’t become pregnant, the egg, along with the uterine wall lining, sheds and exits the body through menstrual bleeding.

In endometriosis, this tissue is found on the outside of the womb, where layers of blood can also build up, causing pain and discomfort.

Dienogest is the active ingredient in Visanne. It is a synthetic version of progesterone; so when someone takes it, it helps to supplement levels of the hormone in the body. This prevents the uterine wall from building up a thick layer for an egg to implant on; and in endometriosis, it also stops layers from developing on womb-like tissues outside the womb.

What are the side effects?

More common side effects associated with dienogest include weight gain, headache, nausea, acne or back pain. Consult the leaflet provided with your medicine for further information.

Can I take them with other medications?

Usually it depends what other medicines you’re using. Some treatments for epilepsy, tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis C and fungal infections can interact with dienogest, so it is important to tell your prescriber about any other medications you are using during consultation.

Page last reviewed:  25/01/2019
Questions and Answers

Should I take Visanne?

It depends which medicine your doctor has recommended for your symptoms, and whether you have used it before. If you haven’t seen a doctor about your symptoms and have not had treatment initiated by them, you should make an appointment to do so before ordering this medicine online.

For some people, Visanne might not be as suitable as other treatments. In such cases, talking to a doctor in person can help you to find a medication that is right for you.

Are there side effects?

Like most medicines, Visanne may cause side effects in some users. The more common among these are weight gain, headaches, uncomfortable breasts, and acne.

More information on side effects can be found in the leaflet that comes with the medicine.

Can I buy endometriosis treatment online?

If you are already taking it, or have done so before, yes. You can order treatment for endometriosis by taking our health questionnaire. Our doctor will review your answers and issue a prescription if the treatment is suitable for you. This will then be prepared by one of our partner pharmacies, and your order shipped to you by next-day parcel.

Women experiencing endometriosis symptoms for the first time, or who have taken treatment before, should see their doctor in the first instance.

Page last reviewed:  25/01/2019

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