Can Botox Help Reduce Endometriosis Pain?
Pelvic pain is one of the hallmark symptoms of endometriosis. Research is showing that Botox, a well-known treatment used in cosmetics, may be a viable option to reduce chronic pelvic pain associated with endometriosis.
What is Botox?
Botulinum toxin type A (commonly known as Botox or BoNT) is a neurotoxin that comes from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox temporarily paralyzes muscles by blocking chemical signals coming from nerves responsible for muscle contraction. As a result, Botox injections can help treat spasms, excessive sweating, migraines, and urinary incontinence.
How does endometriosis cause pelvic pain?
You perceive pelvic pain when nerves in the pelvic region carry signals of discomfort to your brain. Ovarian endometriomas and deep-infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) can lead to chronic pelvic pain, as can adenomyosis, fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Is Botox effective for treating endometriosis-associated pain?
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a proof-of-concept study in 2019. This study included 13 women with surgically-diagnosed endometriosis, who had undergone botulinum toxin injection.
Results showed that 11 of the 13 women reported absence or mild pain. In 7 of these 11 patients, the pain relief lasted between five and 11 months when followed up for a year, with transient to mild side effects.
The researchers noted that Botox treatment can help reduce baseline pain and spasms, which makes the region more amenable to pelvic floor therapy.
How is Botox applied?
An experienced gynecologist injects Botox to relieve endometriosis-related pain trans-vaginally into pelvic floor muscles using a sterile technique. The exact location depends on where you have pain and spasms.
Can Botox provide lasting relief from pelvic pain?
It is only now that researchers are looking at Botox as a treatment option for endometriosis-related pelvic pain. More studies are necessary to fully assess its benefits and possible side effects at various doses.
Currently, Botox is only a temporary solution for pain relief. The optimal Botox dosage for endometriosis-related pelvic pain is not yet clear. The treatment may have to be supplemented by other treatments such as physical therapy and hormonal therapies. However, all these approaches are only management options and do not address the underlying cause of the pain. The gold standard for complete symptom relief for endometriosis is laparoscopic deep excision surgery done by an experienced surgeon to remove all endometriosis lesions.
With the aid of techniques such as cold excision and our patented Aqua Blue Contrast (TM) visualization strategy, the surgeons at the Seckin Endometriosis Center are able to identify and mark all visible and deep infiltrating lesions for removal resulting in complete symptom relief.
Get a Second OpinionOur endometriosis specialists are dedicated to providing patients with expert care. Whether you have been diagnosed or are looking to find a doctor, they are ready to help.
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