Prevalence of Use and Perceived Effectiveness of Medical, Surgical, and Alternative Therapies for Endometriosis Pain in Canadians
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OBJECTIVES: To describe the use and perceived effectiveness of medical, surgical, and alternative therapies (e.g., diet, exercise, heat, cannabis, etc.) in managing endometriosis-associated pain in Canadians. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey was distributed via The Endometriosis Network Canada (TENC) from February to March 2021. Canadians aged 18-50 years with diagnosed or suspected endometriosis were eligible to participate. RESULTS: A total of 434 survey responses were included, and 93.8% of respondents reported that they used at least 1 alternative therapy in the past 6 months for endometriosis-associated pain. Respondents used an array of medical (2.3/6 months), surgical (1.7/lifetime), and alternative therapies (6.9/6 months) to manage their pain, yet 61.9% of respondents did not feel it was adequately managed. The most common alternative therapies were heat, meditation/mindfulness/rest, and diet. CONCLUSION: Alternative therapies were commonly used by Canadians living with endometriosis to manage pain. Cannabis and heat were perceived as the most effective alternative therapies. Here, we gain a better understanding of alternative therapies that can provide an additional therapeutic avenue that clinicians and people living with endometriosis may wish to discuss and explore.