Three Things to Know About Endometriosis: One of The Most Common Women’s Health Issues We Should Talk More About
Posted: April 04, 2019 | Word Count: 1,294
Painful periods, pelvic pain in between periods and pain with sex — what has typically been dismissed as just part of being a woman could actually be caused by a chronic and painful disease called endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when tissue that acts like the lining of your uterus starts growing outside of the uterus, where it doesn’t belong. Endometriosis affects an estimated one in 10 women of reproductive age, yet despite being one of the most common gynecologic disorders in America, there is a lack of awareness and prioritization of endometriosis as an important women’s health issue.
However, now more than ever, healthcare providers and women are coming together to raise awareness, increase understanding and advocate that endometriosis is more than “just a bad period” and women should not have to suffer with pain in silence.
“I often treat women who have been suffering through painful symptoms for years, either because they didn’t realize that they had a condition that could be treated or because their previous doctor didn’t mention endometriosis as a possible cause for their pain,” said Dr. Eric Surrey, Reproductive Endocrinologist and Medical Director of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine in Lone Tree, CO. “While more research needs to be done in the field of endometriosis, I’m encouraged that our understanding of the disease is growing and more than ever before women are speaking up to get the help they need, including diagnosis and treatment,” Surrey notes.
According to Dr. Surrey, these are three important things to know about the disease:
- Endometriosis is Not One Size Fits All: Some women with endometriosis may experience a range of symptoms, while others may experience none at all. While painful periods, pelvic pain in between periods and pain during sex can be the most common symptoms, not all women have all three.
- It’s Difficult to Diagnose: While every woman has a different diagnosis experience, women with endometriosis can suffer up to six to 10 years before receiving a proper diagnosis. “Women may be delayed in learning they have endometriosis because the symptoms can be similar to other disorders. It’s important to be as specific as possible when talking to your doctor and don’t be afraid to ask about endometriosis directly.”
- Treatment Options are Available: There is no known cure for endometriosis but Dr. Surrey notes that treatment options can range from holistic approaches, such as changes in diet or acupuncture, to medications or surgery. Endometriosis treatment plans should be determined between a woman and her healthcare provider.
Information about ORILISSA® (elagolix)
ORILISSA® is the first FDA-approved pill specifically developed for women with moderate to severe endometriosis pain in over a decade. It is a prescription medicine available in two dosage amounts (150 mg once daily or 200 mg twice daily). Depending on the dose, ORILISSA may reduce three common types of endometriosis pain. These are painful periods, pelvic pain in between periods and pain during sex.*
*only ORILISSA 200 mg twice daily dose was proven to work for pain with sex.
Do not take ORILISSA if:
- You are or may be pregnant, have osteoporosis or severe liver disease, or take medicines such as cyclosporine or gemfibrozil. It is not known if ORILISSA is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
For more information, visit ORILISSA.com.
Please see below for Important Safety Information.
Please click for Full Prescribing information including Medication Guide.
ORILISSA® (elagolix) is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain associated with endometriosis.
It is not known if ORILISSA is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
- IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about ORILISSA?
Take ORILISSA exactly as your Healthcare Provider (HCP) tells you.
ORILISSA may cause serious side effects, including:
Bone Loss (decreased Bone Mineral Density [BMD])
- While you are taking ORILISSA, your estrogen levels will be low. This can lead to BMD loss. Your BMD may improve after stopping ORILISSA, but may not recover completely. It is unknown if these bone changes could increase your risk for broken bones as you age. Your HCP may order a DXA scan to check your BMD.
- Effects on Pregnancy
Do not take ORILISSA if you are trying to become or are pregnant, as your risk for early pregnancy loss may increase. If you think you are pregnant, stop taking ORILISSA right away and call your HCP. ORILISSA may change your menstrual periods (irregular bleeding or spotting, a decrease in menstrual bleeding, or no bleeding at all), making it hard to know if you are pregnant. Watch for other signs of pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, weight gain, and nausea. ORILISSA does not prevent pregnancy. You will need to use effective hormone-free birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) while taking ORILISSA and for one week after stopping ORILISSA. Birth control pills that contain estrogen may make ORILISSA less effective. It is unknown how well ORILISSA works while on progestin-only birth control.
Do not take ORILISSA if you:
• Are or may be pregnant, have osteoporosis, have severe liver disease, or take medicines known as strong OATP1B1 inhibitors, such as cyclosporine or gemfibrozil. If you are unsure if you are taking one of these medicines, ask your HCP.
What should I tell my HCP before taking ORILISSA?
Tell your HCP about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
• Have or have had broken bones, have other conditions, or take medicines that may cause bone problems; have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; have liver problems; think you may be pregnant; or are breastfeeding or plan to be. It is unknown if ORILISSA passes into breast milk. Talk to your HCP about the best way to feed your baby if you take ORILISSA.
Tell your HCP about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Especially tell your HCP if you take birth control pills. Your HCP may advise you to change the pills you take or your method of birth control.
What are the possible side effects of ORILISSA?
ORILISSA can cause serious side effects including:
• Suicidal thoughts, actions, or behavior, and worsening of mood. Call your healthcare provider right away, or call 911 if an emergency, if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or bother you: thoughts about suicide or dying, try to commit suicide, new or worse depression or anxiety, or other unusual changes in behavior or mood. You or your caregiver should pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings.
• Abnormal liver tests. Call your HCP right away if you have any of these signs and symptoms of liver problems: yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice), dark amber-colored urine, feeling tired, nausea and vomiting, generalized swelling, right upper stomach area pain, or bruising easily.
The most common side effects of ORILISSA include: hot flashes or night sweats, headache, nausea, difficulty sleeping, absence of periods, anxiety, joint pain, depression, and mood changes.
These are not all of the possible side effects of ORILISSA. This is the most important information to know about ORILISSA. For more information, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.
Tell your HCP if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Call your HCP for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org for assistance.
Sponsored by AbbVie