Endometriosis UK
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What painkillers are you all on?

Hi there,

I had a laparoscopy for my endo last November - I only found out I had the condition after coming off the pill to try and conceive (no luck yet), and was lucky to get a good GP who recognised the symptoms.

8 months on, my periods are getting more and more painful each month, to the point where I can't really function on the first couple of days of my cycle. I've resisted asking for strong painkillers up to this point, but paracetamol and ibuprofen just aren't cutting it any more!

I'm going to ask my GP for a prescription, but wondered what the options were - what are you all taking?

Thanks x

6 Replies

Hey Hun. At the moment I'm ment to be taken naproxen and paracetamol but coz I'm in that much pain I'm also taken tramadol, but I've tried all different tablets over the last 13yrs for it x


I am trying to avoid taking painkillers, because as I understand it, most painkillers put stress on the liver which then limits the liver's capacity to remove oestrogen from the body, which is what is causing a lot of the inflammation and pain to begin with. It's a bit of a vicious cycle.

The doctors have given me ibuprofen, paracetamol and codeine, but the codeine has side effects which cause me more discomfort (constipation etc..) so I avoid these at all costs. I am in debilitating pain for 2-3 days per month (first days of heavy bleeding), and I try to limit myself to 2 ibuprofen in the evening before bed on those days, just to help me sleep.

I hope you find something that works for you. Speak to your doctor about your options for pain relief, and also what the long term implications are etc.. I know Tramadol can be very addictive.



I'm not sure the list of painkillers that I'm on would be appropriate for you - as I am, by necessity, on quite a lot of very heavy duty stuff on a daily basis these days. However, as a first step you might want to see if your GP will try you on a different anti-inflammatory. The only presciption anti-inflammatory that has been any use to me over the years has been diclofenac. If this still does not help with the paracetamol, then you might be offered something with codeine in it. I never really got on well with co-codamol.

Some people find dihydrocodeine useful - it may make you a little sleepy and nauseous till you get used to it. The slow release version tends to give you less pain peaks and troughs (DHC Continus). It helps with all these drugs if you eat something with them. There are many other drugs at that kind of level.

Sometimes unfortunately painkillers are necessary and if you are only taking them around your period for a couple of days, I would not personally be too concerned about long term effects. You have to weigh up the pros and cons as with anything. My rule of thumb is that if someone is in the position of luxury of trying to decide whether they really need pain relief then perhaps they don't. We do all of course have difference levels of tolerance to pain but ultimately when you are in real need - you know it! It sounds like for the time being at least taking something just a little stronger might help you get over that hump of the first couple of days. With anti-inflammatories and endo, I'm sure you already know that you will get the best benefit to get them into your system a good 24-48 hours before your period actually starts - that's if you know it is on its way. You could even see if the ibuprofen works better doing this.

Pain's a funny thing isn't it. It's hard to explain even amongst other people who have it because we're all in different places on the journey and therefore define things differently. My best days (with strong meds) still feel as a minimum that I have several tooth abcesses throbbing in my pelvis, whereas my worst days feel like I'm giving birth to alien triplets whilst being disemboweled - swimming in sweat and vomit. I've been told that I look like that too;-). Not a pretty sight. Anyway, as I say... wherever people are on the scale - I think pain tells you if you genuinely need drugs to cope. I hope they give you something to help. x


Mefenamic acid but that doesnt do anything for me.




Many thanks for all your replies and advice! I'm currently taking co-codamol but have run out of ibuprofen (I usually take them together ). I try not to take co-codamol too much but none of the over the counter stuff is hitting the spot any more.

I was prescribed mefenamic acid when i first went to the gynae but didn't fill the prescription. I didn't want to pay £8 for something that might not be better than what I could buy in Tesco, but I might ask for another one as I'm ready to try anything!

I've taken dihydrocodeine before for tooth ache and it was the only thing that worked, so I might ask for that. I certainly don't need to take them all through the month - I can bear the pain for the most part, but the way I'm feeling today is just unbearable. It's all I can do not to pass out at my desk :-(.

Thanks again for all your replies xx


Good luck. Nefopam has also been useful to me in the past - does cause me to need a 30 min doze though. However if DHC has worked on you before...sounds like a plan.x


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