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Health Agencies Update
August 27, 2019

Botulinum Toxin to Treat Endometriosis Pain

JAMA. 2019;322(8):716. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.12350

A small study by National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers suggests that injections of botulinum toxin might relieve endometriosis-associated pain from pelvic floor spasms.

About 15% to 20% of reproductive-age women experience chronic pelvic pain (defined as nonmenstrual pelvic pain lasting for 6 months or more) and—among women who undergo surgery for it, approximately one-third are found to have endometriosis, the authors report. Many women with endometriosis continue to have pelvic pain despite optimal treatment, and some also have palpable pelvic floor muscle spasms, according to the authors, affiliated with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Previous studies suggested that botulinum toxin might help relieve other types of nonbladder pelvic pain, but that research did not specifically address endometriosis, the authors wrote.