Prevalence of Use and Perceived Effectiveness of Medical, Surgical, and Alternative Therapies for Endometriosis Pain in Canadians

Authors: Mahsa Gholiof, Emma Adamson-De Luca, Warren G. Foster, Nicholas A. Leyland, Philippa Bridge-Cook, Mathew Leonarid, Jocelyn M. Wessels

Publication: Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Canada 2023;45(1):11-20.


In this paper, the authors describe the results of an internet-based survey of Canadian women between 18-50 years of age with either a diagnosis or symptoms suggestive of endometriosis. In this study, 62% of study participants reported that their endometriosis pain is not well managed. Study participants reported their use and perceived effectiveness of surgical, prescribed medications, and alternative therapies. Surgery was reported most frequently to be almost always effective. Of the prescription medications used, GnRH agonists and antagonists, hormonal IUDs, hormonal therapies, and opioids were almost always effective. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were considered effective only half of the time. Of the many different alternative therapies used, only cannabis was most commonly reported to be almost always effective. Diet and heat were only effective half of the time.

Take home message:

The majority of people with endometriosis or symptoms suggestive of endometriosis have pain that is not well managed by current treatments. Surgery and medical management is almost always effective in alleviating their pain. Of the alternative therapies used, cannabis was the most effective followed by diet and heat.