How are gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues administered for the treatment of endometriosis?

Updated: May 10, 2021
  • Author: G Willy Davila, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Answer

GnRH analogues produce a hypogonadotrophic-hypogonadic state by downregulation of the pituitary gland. Goserelin and leuprolide acetate are the commonly used agonists. Efficacy is limited to pain suppression, and fertility rates may show no improvement. [76]

Winkel et al have claimed that GnRH therapy may lead to improvement in pain associated with endometriosis in 85-100% of women. [77] Furthermore, the pain relief is believed to persist for 6-12 months after cessation of treatment.

Treatment is usually restricted to monthly injections for 6 months. Loss of trabecular bone density caused by GnRH is restored by 2 years after cessation of therapy. [78] Other prominent adverse effects include hot flashes and vaginal dryness.


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