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*This post is sponsored by AbbVie.
*Okay gentlemen, if you don’t like hearing about lady problems, and that time of the month, it is time to move along. Because today I am getting real with my fellow ladies.*
When I was in high school, I hated my period. HATED IT! It wasn’t for the typical reasons that high school girls hate it. Nope, I hated it because when I was in high school, the pain from my monthly cycle was so intense, I often did not want to get out of bed.
I didn’t realize that pain like that is not normal. As an adult the pain was not quite as bad. But it still would have me curled up in my bed at least one or two days each month. I thought that my cycle pain was normal, so I never asked my doctor about it. That is right… I thought it was normal to be doubled over in pain during that time of the month.
It wasn’t until I had an unrelated medical procedure that my doctor discovered I had endometriosis. Why did it take my doctor so long to figure it out? Because I had never brought up my menstrual pain. Not once.
Thankfully, we were able to open up our line of communication and my doctor gave me a lot of information and options to help me better understand the condition. I wanted to share some tips that I used for talking to my doctor, which have made my appointments so much easier.
Tips For Talking To Your Doctor About Endometriosis
- Track your symptoms
Keep a diary of your endometriosis pain. Are you having pain only during your cycle? With sex? In between cycles? Be sure to include how these symptoms affect your day-to-day activities. This will help your health care provider understand the severity of your pain and help you work together for a treatment plan.
- Do some research
Research not only the symptoms of endometriosis, but also the treatment options. One option I learned about is ORILISSA® (elagolix). ORILISSA is for women 18 and over with moderate to severe endometriosis pain.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and goals for managing the condition to determine if ORILISSA is right for you.
- Have the discussion with your doctor
When having the discussion with your doctor, do not hold back. I am so guilty of this. “Oh, the pain hurts, but it isn’t too bad,” when really, I didn’t want to get out of bed during my cycle at all.
When it comes time to discuss treatment, ask all the questions. I like to take a list of questions I have and notes from my research. For instance, when looking into ORILISSA and other treatment options I asked my doctor about side effects, dosage options, and even if they would interfere with other medications I may be taking.
- Take time to choose your treatment plan
After you have discussed treatment options with your doctor, take time to think it over. I made not one, but two appointments with my doctor, a couple weeks apart. The first was to discuss options, the second will be to finalize a treatment plan.
And if you still aren’t sure, ask more questions at your next follow up appointment.
I hope these tips are helpful for you. It is so important to be honest about your symptoms and talk with your doctor often about how you are feeling. Don’t settle for the pain like I did, work with your doctor to find a treatment option that is right for you.
Be sure to also research which treatment options are covered by your insurance. To find out about insurance coverage for ORILISSA and out-of-pocket costs, you can call 1-844-ORIFORME (1-844-674-3676).
Information about ORILISSA
For more information, visit ORILISSA.com.
Please see below for Important Safety Information.
USE ORILISSA® (elagolix) is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain associated with endometriosis. It is not known if ORILISSA is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about ORILISSA? ORILISSA may cause serious side effects, including:
Bone Loss (decreased Bone Mineral Density [BMD]) While you are taking ORILISSA, your estrogen levels will be low. This can lead to BMD loss. Your BMD may improve after stopping ORILISSA, but may not recover completely. It is unknown if these bone changes could increase your risk for broken bones as you age. Your healthcare provider (HCP) may order a DXA scan to check your BMD.
Effects on Pregnancy Do not take ORILISSA if you are trying to become or are pregnant, as your risk for early pregnancy loss may increase. If you think you are pregnant, stop taking ORILISSA right away and call your HCP. ORILISSA may change your menstrual periods (irregular bleeding or spotting, a decrease in menstrual bleeding, or no bleeding at all), making it hard to know if you are pregnant. Watch for other signs of pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, weight gain, and nausea. ORILISSA does not prevent pregnancy. You will need to use effective hormone-free birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) while taking ORILISSA and for one week after stopping ORILISSA. Birth control pills that contain estrogen may make ORILISSA less effective. It is unknown how well ORILISSA works while on progestin-only birth control.
Do not take ORILISSA if you:
Are or may be pregnant, have osteoporosis, have severe liver disease, or take medicines known as strong OATP1B1 inhibitors, such as cyclosporine or gemfibrozil. If you are unsure if you are taking one of these medicines, ask your HCP.
What should I tell my HCP before taking ORILISSA? Tell your HCP about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
Have or have had broken bones, have other conditions, or take medicines that may cause bone problems; have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; have liver problems; think you may be pregnant; or are breastfeeding or plan to be. It is unknown if ORILISSA passes into breast milk. Talk to your HCP about the best way to feed your baby if you take ORILISSA.
Tell your HCP about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your HCP if you take birth control pills. Your HCP may advise you to change the pills you take or your method of birth control. What are the possible side effects of ORILISSA? ORILISSA can cause serious side effects including:
Suicidal thoughts, actions, or behavior, and worsening of mood. Call your HCP right away, or call 911 if an emergency, if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or bother you: thoughts about suicide or dying, try to commit suicide, new or worse depression or anxiety, or other unusual changes in behavior or mood. You or your caregiver should pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings.
Abnormal liver tests. Call your HCP right away if you have any of these signs and symptoms of liver problems: yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice), dark amber-colored urine, feeling tired, nausea and vomiting, generalized swelling, right upper stomach area pain, or bruising easily.
The most common side effects of ORILISSA include: hot flashes or night sweats, headache, nausea, difficulty sleeping, absence of periods, anxiety, joint pain, depression, and mood changes. These are not all of the possible side effects of ORILISSA. This is the most important information to know about ORILISSA. For more information, talk to your doctor or HCP. Take ORILISSA exactly as your HCP tells you. Tell your HCP if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Call your HCP for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. If you are having difficulty paying for your medicine, AbbVie may be able to help. Visit AbbVie.com/myAbbVieAssist to learn more. Please see the Full Prescribing information, including Medication Guide for Patients, for Orilissa at www.rxabbvie.com/pdf/orilissa_pi.pdf Sponsored by AbbVie US-ORIL-190329