Endometriosis UK
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Alternatives to the pill

Hi all,

I recently went to my GP as I had been having chronic breakthrough bleeding and discharge for around 9 months. The discharge would be very heavy with clots and changed colour and consistency frequently. My doctor has advised to come off of my pill (I have been on 3 different pills in the last year to try and control this discharge) which I have done and my discharge has cleared up. I have an appointment to see my gyny in October, as my gp also found quite a large cervical erosion and for my ongoing pain. I'm just wondering if anyone knows what my gyny may suggest instead of the pill? At present I have nothing controlling my endo and although I have not yet had my period I have had some spotting today and pain in my rectum for the last few weeks (I have not taken my pill for around 5 weeks now). I do not want to go on hormones or get the coil as I do hope to try for a baby next year but I'm not sure that I can put up with the chronic discharge until then!

If anyone has any experience please help.

9 Replies

Were you on a progesterone only pill or combined?

I'm asking b/c on all of the combined pills I was on I kept getting infections and the pill in on currently led to BV and an early case of PID but it hasn't occurred again since.

She might put you on GNRH antagonists next since an IUD can be dangerous if your prone to erosion or infection, plus if it is the Progesterone pill effecting you, Depo provera wouldn't work well since it's a shot of Progesterone.


Going off of hormones or GNRH antagonists means you'll have a few cycles before the year is over and nothing will control the endo from growing due to the fluctuations of hormones each cycle. Endo feeds off of estrogen during your cycle your body produces estrogen during your cycle.



Thank you so much for replying. It's the combined oral contraceptive that I have been on. I've been on a progesterone only pill before and I don't take well to them all. I really don't want to go on the depp injection because of this and got on well with my combined pill other than the chronic discharge and the erosion. Really don't know what to do!


A low dose pill that my dr gave me is called Loloestrin

Here's a link to the site


1 like

Hi- if you are planning to get pregnant soon have you ever been advised to have a low dose pill back to back- no breaks?? When I worked on Obs & Gynae before I retired early; I often sat as the Consultants assistant for examination, taking notes and setting up a trolley for treatments, they often suggested this course of treatment to stop spotting, but YOU MUST get this prescribed as not knowing your history it might not be the right solution!


Hi Caz,

No I've never been advised to have anything like this. Really all the advise I've been given is to go on the depo injection but I really don't want to do that. Do you know what is the most common low dose pill that I can research before I go? I've been on quite a few pills over the last 13 years and get on with some better than others.


You really need to discuss the options with a qualified gynae doc. Your history and other medicines and illnesses need to be considered before they prescribe.I hope you get a follow up the Family planning gynae services are usually quicker and just as good ask for appt when the gynae is on duty..good luck


Hi Caitlyn

To suggest that you go to family planning with your history is totally inappropriate.

For the benefit of others who may be in a similar situation, and especially those in Scotland, Wales and NI, I'll summarize your previous posts here so others can identify with you if appropriate. Obtaining proper care in these devolved health boards can be very difficult.

You had a lap in Jan 14 in general gynaecology and were told endo was removed. The lap report gives no indication of the severity, where found or how treated. A year ago you had a colonoscopy to look for endo in the rectovaginal septum as this was suspected but nothing was found and you were told your bowel problems are IBS. You felt better for a year or so after the lap but then gradually went downhill and were passed from pillar to post. The gynae didn't think your continuing pain was from endo because it had been 'treated'.

You have always had heavy periods and your symptoms have gradually worsened and have become severely worse over the last 8 months. You have pain before and during your period with a bloated stomach, pain in the legs, severe right sided pain, rectal pain so severe that you feel like you are sitting on a fist, pain in the vagina, pain during sex with bleeding after and general malaise and fatigue. Until recently coming off the pill you had the continuous discharge as described above, with dark old blood and clots. This has since stopped but you are concerned that your endo will progress without being on the pill.

You have recently been discharged from gynaecology and referred to pain management.

Unfortunately you sound to be a typical case of a woman inadequately dealt with in general gynaecology with a diagnosis of IBS given for all your symptoms. Of course we cannot know for sure what is involved but you have all the symptoms of rectovaginal endo that has been missed.

First of all we need to know exactly what was done at the lap. Can you let us know exactly what the report to your GP says. If it gives no indication at all as to what was done (other than perhaps saying some endo was found and 'treated') they this goes against the gynaecologist's registration that requires accurate record keeping. You could formally request a copy of the actual surgical report from the hospital but they usually charge quite a lot and there is likely to be a good wait. It probably won't say much anyway if the report to your GP is anything to go by. As the gynaecologist has failed in his duties I would suggest writing a letter direct to him asking for the details and requiring him to answer direct questions to indicate where he looked or more likely where he didn't look. I have just recently done this for another Scottish lady and she now has a referral to a centre. Let me know by private message if you would like help with this along with the name of the gynaecologist and hospital.

A colonoscopy will not show endo in the rectovaginal septum unless it has infiltrated through the bowel wall. A rectovaginal exam would give a good indication - fingers up the vagina and bottom at the same time to feel for palpable nodules. Did he perform this on you at a consultation? If not he was required to do it while you were under as part of the lap. Have a look at my post on the diagnostic lap to see how it should be performed. I'm not sure if you said when the colonoscopy was done but I assume it was a while ago and in the two years' since your lap any deep endo could have progressed anyway especially in view of your more recent severe symptoms.

If you have deep endo then no hormone medication will help it - this is acknowledged in the BSGE specification for treatment of severe endo. This is because pain is often from adhesions and nerve involvement that is not associated with oestrogen and so will not respond to oestrogen being reduced or withdrawn. Also endo produces its own oestrogen within its own cells to stimulate growth and this is not affected by the ovaries and therefore not affected by hormone medications.

Since you are wanting to try and conceive it is very important that people start listening to you as if you do have deep endo then research shows that this has a significant effect on infertility and you need this sorting before you start trying. Women in Scotland and the other devolved boards have to make a case for themselves to be referred to a centre and this means producing evidence of suspected severe endo as referrals there are only given for severe cases. In such cases you can travel between boards to a centre through a system called Safehaven.


Hi Lindle,

Thank you so much for replying. I will pm you tonight when I have finished work. I have put in a request for my reports at my doctors surgery.

Thank you again.


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