Dec 2020

Dealing With Lupron Depot

  • By: Samantha Denäe

Lupron Depot. The chemotherapy treatment they don’t warn you about. When I was introduced to Lupron Depot in 2014 after being diagnosed with Endometriosis, I did not know the ride I was in for. I had previously tried two forms of birth control pills, with no avail, so my doctor suggested we try Lupron Depot as a form of treatment. Looking for any relief, I accepted, and was told I’d need to receive an injection every three months for a six-month period. What I wasn’t told was that Lupron is a chemotherapy treatment. A treatment that is also used for men with prostate cancer. After adjusting to the Lupron, I was swiftly hit with the menopausal side effects. Constant night sweats, 15-minute hot flashes, no sex drive, and worst of all – no energy. Exhaustion had reached an entirely new level. Getting out of bed was a task. Taking showers became shorter and colder. My emotions were on a roller coaster ride and to top it all of I was beginning to have 3-week periods of “breakthrough bleeding” (spotting or vaginal bleeding).

I was confused. Lupron is supposed to be similar to the Depo Provera shot: making your period nonexistent. The breakthrough bleeding, which is only supposed to last a short period of time, began to happen more frequently and longer than a three-week span. Between the period pain from the growing endometriosis, the fatigue, and the on setting of pre-menopausal side effects, I couldn’t take it anymore. My six-month stint was cut short to four months, and from there the breakthrough bleeding continued and eventually turned into a full-blown period that began lasting two weeks to a month to three months at a time.

Although I was taking birth control treatments to reduce the amount of tissue growth and to regulate my period, nothing was working. Having a 90-day period for nine months out of the year for four years ultimately became my fate, and side effects from the Lupron were not adding to my quality of life. I had no answers and neither did the doctors. My bones felt weaker. My hair was falling out. I began to have hand and leg spasms, at one point shaking uncontrollably for minutes. The depression it caused took a year to wear off and the hot flashes moved from every 15 minutes to seven hours consistently, even six years later.   

If I were informed of these things while discussing my treatment options, I would have refused. It’s situations like these where we aren’t given the full scope as Endometriosis patients that causes us feel as though we are money pawns in the grand scheme of things. We want to be advised on the best course of treatment, but we also want to safe in doing so. For me and so many Endometriosis patients alike, Lupron Depot is not that treatment.  


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