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New Pain-Relieving Endometriosis Drug Approved by FDA

Endometriosis is a horrific condition that one in ten women go through in their reproductive years. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first ever endometriosis pain-relieving medication called Elagolix. Elagolix is now able to help women that suffer from terrible pelvic pain by reducing the amount of estrogen in their body.

April 30, 2020

Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which women experience severe pain in the pelvic region that most commonly occurs during menstruation. This is a difficult and painful disorder that affects up to one in ten young women. Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration has approved Elagolix, a pain-relieving medication for women who suffer from endometriosis.

This article covers:

  • What is endometriosis?
  • What is Elagolix?
  • Does endometriosis affect fertility?

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that grows outside of the uterus known as endometrium thickens and bleeds with a woman’s menstrual cycle. This can cause severe pain in the uterus because the tissue has no way to exit your body, and instead it is trapped. This tissue is similar to tissue that is found in the uterus, but it can grow on the ovaries and fallopian tubes as well.

woman holding hand to face
Endometriosis is a painful disorder that affects a woman’s uterus and occurs in one in ten women worldwide.

The most noticeable symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain associated with menstrual periods, but it can also occur in other places too. Experiencing pain during or even after sex is very common with having endometriosis. Even having pain during bowel movements or with urination is a common sign and symptom of endometriosis. Some women also experience excessive bleeding during menstrual cycles and even infertility.

What is Elagolix?

Many women who suffer from endometriosis tend to take common painkillers, contraceptives, and even injectable hormones in hope to stop the pain that comes with this disorder. Fortunately, the FDA has finally approved a new drug specifically for endometriosis called Elagolix. This drug works by reducing estrogen, which is the primary female sex hormone. 

Elagolix reduces the amount of estrogen in a woman’s body, but does this in a very slow process. This drug can be taken up to two years, but it does have some side effects. In a placebo-controlled trial, side effects of Elagolix included headaches and hot flashes in 20 percent of women, and nausea in 10 percent.

Does Endometriosis Affect Fertility?

It is proven that endometriosis can cause infertility, or can affect a woman’s fertility because of the inflammation and irritation that is caused by the disorder. The fimbria, which picks up the egg to deliver to the fallopian tube, can be inflamed because of endometriosis and cause scarring, preventing the egg from reaching its destination. In more severe cases, endometriosis can cause adhesions, which can result in the pelvic organs sticking together, decreasing the probability of fertility.

pregnant woman by flowers
Endometriosis is known for causing infertility in many women and preventing the egg to reach the fallopian tube in order to become pregnant. 

Is it possible for women to become pregnant if they have endometriosis? Of course! Although there are many factors that can play into fertility and women who suffer from endometriosis, it is possible to become pregnant. Becoming pregnant actually improves endometriosis because of the hormones that are produced when a woman is pregnant. To prevent endometriosis from coming back after pregnancy, doctors recommend that women get on the birth control pill, but with the new FDA approved drug, Elagolix, women can hopefully stop suffering from chronic pelvic pain and inflammation.


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