Pharmacological treatment of endometriosis: update from recent clinical trials

Author(s): Simone Ferrero, Valentino ,Remorgida, Pier Luigi Venturini

Endometriosis is a chronic disease that causes pain and infertility. Combined oral contraceptives and progestins are commonly used for the treatment of endometriosis because they reduce the severity of pain symptoms in 60–70% of patients and are well tolerated. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs and danazol may be administered to selected patients but their long-term use is limited owing to the high frequency of severe adverse effects. Aromatase inhibitors should be administered only to women who fail to improve after surgery and conventional hormonal therapy because they are not well tolerated. This article discusses the medical therapies available for the treatment of endometriosis-related pain symptoms; in addition, detailed information on the recent advances in the treatment of rectovaginal endometriosis, ovarian endometriomas and bowel endometriosis is presented.