Treatments Options for Uterine Fibroids

Treatments Options for Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids are growths that develop in or on the uterus (womb). Another name is uterine leiomyomas or myomas. Fibroids are common. It is estimated that up to 80 percent of women can develop fibroids by age 50, although not all women with fibroids have symptoms. Dr. Andrew Doe can offer you various treatment options for your fibroids, depending on the size and location of your fibroids and your symptoms.

Fibroids vary in size. Sometimes the fibroids are small as a seed or as large as a melon. A woman can have one fibroid or many. Most fibroids do not cause symptoms, but some can. Fibroids that grow outside the uterus may press on the bladder and cause urinary frequency or urgency. Fibroids that grow inside the uterus may cause heavy menstrual bleeding and pain. Some large fibroids can make a woman’s abdomen appear larger than normal.

There are several treatment options for women with symptomatic fibroids; see below for a detailed explanation:

Observation

If you have fibroids but don’t have symptoms, your doctor may suggest you wait and see if symptoms develop. If your fibroids are small, this may be the only treatment you need. When your doctor tells observation, It is possible to schedule regular checkups to ensure the fibroids aren’t growing.

Medications

When you notice symptoms, such as heavy menstrual bleeding or pelvic pain caused by fibroids, your doctor may recommend medications to help relieve these symptoms. Your symptoms will inform the type of medication your doctor will prescribe.

  • For heavy menstrual bleeding: Hormonal medications can help by reducing the amount of bleeding during your period. These include birth control pills, progesterone-releasing IUDs, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. GnRH agonists are drugs that temporarily shrink fibroids by lowering estrogen levels in your body. The drugs are often used before surgery to shrink the size of the fibroids. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also help reduce heavy bleeding.
  • For pelvic pain: If you have fibroids, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen sodium (Aleve). If these don’t relieve your pain, your doctor may prescribe tranexamic acid (Lysteda), which helps reduce the amount of bleeding during your period and can also help with the pain.
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Minimally invasive surgery

If medications don’t relieve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend minimally invasive surgery to remove the fibroids. Minimally invasive surgery involves tiny incisions in your abdomen and requires only light sedation. It is also sometimes called laparoscopic surgery.

The minimally invasive surgery your doctor recommends will depend on the size and location of your fibroids.

  • Myomectomy: Myomectomy is surgery to remove fibroids while leaving the uterus in place. This option may be recommended if you want to become pregnant in the future. Myomectomy can be done using a laparoscopy or hysteroscopy.
  • Hysteroscopic myomectomy is done through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. The fibroids are removed with special instruments. This type of surgery is often done on an outpatient basis.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with fibroids, talk to your doctor at Alate Health about the best treatment options.

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