Menstrual Misery? New hormone-free therapy for teens with heavy, painful periods

Menstrual Misery? New hormone-free therapy for teens with heavy, painful periods

Menstrual Misery? New hormone-free therapy for teens with heavy, painful periods

Data out this week from Harvard University shows that 98% of adolescents with chronic pelvic pain have endometriosis. For the 176 million women worldwide that suffer for endometriosis, this data provides a strange form of relief and recognition. They aren’t complaining, whining, histrionic women and teenagers who can’t handle their menstrual period. On the contrary, they probably have a medical condition called endometriosis that needs treatment. And they don’tneed hormonal contraceptives or birth control pills.

For decades medical science has either ignored and not treated painful menstrual cramps and heavy menstrual periods, or offered only hormonal contraceptives as therapy. But now we know that these symptoms of chronic pelvic pain represent endometriosis 98% of the time, and hence cannot be ignored or treated only with ibuprofen. We also know that hormonal contraceptives mask the symptoms of endometriosis, but don’t effectively treat the disease or decrease the infertility associated with endometriosis. Catholic moms were right after all. Birth control pills really aren’t good for your teen daughter, no matter how bad her periods are.

The best news is that now we have effective therapy for endometriosis that treats symptoms and improves fertility, and it doesn’t involve taking hormonal contraceptives.

Between 25 to 65 percent of women with endometriosis have fertility problems. Approximately 5 million U.S. teenagers are affected by the condition. In other words, pretty much all of us moms know some teen or young adult out there that has endometriosis and needs it treated to prevent infertility. Don’t ignore those painful heavy periods. Find them a good Catholic doctor.

Dr. Patrick Yeung, Jr., MD, is a minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgeon and director of the Center for Endometriosis at St. Louis University. He’s also a faithful Catholic father of two beautiful daughters. He’s a real Catholic dad, the kind that goes out to the church lobby with his noisy thirteen-month-old but still sits under the speaker so that he doesn’t miss the mass and kneels on the marble lobby floor during the consecration while keeping one eye on his toddler. He’s the kind of guy you feel comfortable bringing your daughter to.

He’s also advancing a better therapy for endometriosis—laser excision. Laser excision, compared to ablation therapy, has a much lower risk of recurrence of endometriosis. He’s published the research that shows hormonal contraceptives are usually unnecessary after surgery for endometriosis.

You can read more about Dr. Yeung, his research, and The Center for Endometriosis at There’s also a detailed article about Dr. Yeung’s work by Jennifer Brinker of the St. Louis Review:

To find a Catholic physician near you, visit,, or

Copyright 2012 Kathleen Mary Berchelmann, MD, CPHIMS


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1 Comment

  1. Dr. Berchelmann, this is great news. I treat many young girls and young women who are suffering from pain and difficult menstrual cycles with herbal remedies. Specifically, traditional Chinese herbs in formula combinations that have been used for generations of women. Chinese herbs are not well known in the U.S., yet billions of Asian women and now European women use them daily. You can learn more about the herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and a 100% herbal combination called PMS Relief Herb Pack at As a Doctor of Oriental Medicine I find all of my patients have improvement and immediate pain relief with our PMS Relief herbs. It is no secret that herbs such as Dang Gui or Dang Quai when combined with other pain relieving and blood tonic herbs can re-balance the body. This is certainly the reason all drugs originated from chemicals in plants. They hold the secrets we need for health and many of these secrets have been used for over one thousand years. We just need to learn about them.

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