17 March, 2010

Depo-Lupron versus Laparoscopy

last week i went to see an obgyn for my pain. her whole office was super friendly and didn't even flinch at the sight of a guy having an appointment with an obgyn. the doctor herself was very friendly and listened to everything i had to say about my pain and my history. she told me that she thinks i have endometriosis and talked briefly about other ftm patients she's seen for the same thing. she basically told me that i have two options to get rid of my pain - this drug called depo-lupron or a laparoscopy to remove my ovaries.

depo-lupron is a hormonal agent that significantly reduces estrogen levels and is normally used in women with endometriosis. i have done some research on the drug to weigh its pros and cons.

-my pain would most likely be reduced
-potential for body & facial hair to grow in faster
-take the drug for a brief period (about 6 months)

-fluid retention
-weight gain
-joint pain
-loss of libido

laparoscopic surgery is surgery performed with a laparoscope (a very small tube with a light and a camera lens) to examine organs, check for abnormalities or perform minimally invasive surgeries. i have done some research on this as well to see how it compares to the depo-lupron.

-my pain would most likely be reduced
-if i ever went off hormones i wouldn't have to worry about bleeding
-potential for body & facial hair to grow in faster

-injuries to blood vessels or my bowels during the surgery
-some people have sustained electrical burns unseen by surgeons who are working with electrodes that leak into surrounding tissue
-bodily pain related to the gas introduced into the abdominal cavity during surgery
-risks associated with general anesthesia
-blood clots
-nerve injury

i read many, many accounts of women who have been on depo-lupron and i am honestly scared by what this drug has done to these women. some of the women mentioned that their pain did go away, though all of them mentioned how horrific the side effects were and how this drug basically made them crazy for a period of time. reading these accounts makes me very hesitant to go on this drug, especially since i prefer not to put drugs into my body. my doctor is supposed to call me this week and we're going to discuss these options together and decide the best route for me. i'll keep my blog updated as things progress.



Toby said...

I'm sorry to hear about this. I hope you come to a good solution soon. Those drugs scare me some I must say. But then again surgery is intense as well. Take care man.

Tenured Radical said...

I have a friend who had her ovaries removed because of breast cancer in the family, and abdominal surgery is always something to be taken seriously, it was an easy procedure with a good recovery time. No side effects at all.

I like your blog & have been following for a year -- good luck!

Luke said...

@toby - thanks dude!

@tenured radical - thanks for the story and thanks for reading my blog!

Diana said...

Esh both sound scary, but I think most things are these days. It's good to know at least there are options to help you! I hope everything goes smoothly either way..

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PreVet Angst said...

I am sure you are no longer posting, but maybe you will still be able to get this message. I have severe endometriosis that was finally diagnosed a few months ago after being in pain for 5+ years. My previous doctors said I was essentially faking the pain, since they couldn't find anything by ultrasound and MRI's, etc. They put me on just about every type of hormonal birth control available and kept telling me my pain wasn't something they could fix. I finally switched to a specialist and she immediately said she was sure it was endo but insurance wouldn't cover any meds or treatment unless laproscopic surgery was performed to diagnose the condition. My endo is in areas that can't be surgically removed, so Lupron was my only option unless I have a hysterectomy. I am almost to my 3rd month of being on the treatment and I am less anxious, have lost the bloated feeling that I had when I was on depo-provera (the last thing the other doctor put me on), I am much calmer, and I haven't been painful except the last few days, but I think that is from this dose wearing off. I had nausea for 1 week and ginger root helped that. I am less fatigued and easier to deal with on a regular basis. I haven't grown hair anywhere out of the norm like some people do, so that may be a down side to what you are going through. But, all in all, I am much happier since I started Lupron. What I am going through might be out of the norm, but I feel like me again. I can live my life. I am interested in sex again, I can function mentally, I can work and be efficient. I am 20 years old and I am seriously considering the hysterectomy if the lupron fails to relieve the pain once I finish the 6 months. If you still read your comments, what did you go through after your procedure?