If you are a frequent reader of the blog, you know that we often go into detail about the type of treatment options for fibroids. We also talk a lot about the types of fibroids and how they can affect your day-to-day. But if you’re just getting started in your research about fibroids (perhaps you’ve been recently diagnosed with fibroids) it’s good to start with an overall view of your options. That’s why we have compiled a brief summary of your options for fibroid treatment to get you started.
Medication Management with Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (Gn-RH) Agonists
Medications called Gn-RH agonists (You may have heard the medication names Lupron, Synarel) are the first non-hormonal option tried by many women with fibroids. These medications block the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Without these hormones, you will be in a temporary postmenopausal state. You will no longer have a period, your fibroids will shrink and your anemia will probably improve. Sometimes women take these medications to shrink fibroids before surgery.
Reviews on these medications are mixed. Some women are really happy with the results and find they are able to get back to living life they way they did before fibroids. Other women find that the hot flashes and mood changes they face are not worth the reduced pain and bleeding. These results can really vary depending on your body. If you’d like to learn more about how other women feel about medication management for fibroids, it’s a good idea to read some women’s stories on HysterSisters.com.
Minimally invasive procedures
- Uterine Artery Embolization
- Your surgeon will inject small particles into the arteries that feed blood to your uterus. This will cut off the blood flow to your fibroids. Without blood flow, they cannot survive and they will shrink and die.
- Your surgeon removes the fibroids without removing your uterus. This is a good option for women who have only a few fibroids or small fibroids. Myomectomy is an option for women who want to go on to have children, although it can make pregnancy and labor more high-risk.
- Endometrial Ablation
- Your surgeon will place a specialized instrument inserted into uterus, that uses heat, hot water or electric current to remove the lining of your uterus. You will either no longer have a period or your menstrual flow will be greatly reduced. Many women are satisfied with endometrial ablation, but this procedure is for women who no longer desire to get pregnant.
Traditional surgical procedures
Hysterectomy can be performed either via laparoscope or via traditional incision. Hysterectomy with laparoscope offers faster recovery time, less scaring and less pain. Hysterectomy is the only proven permanent cure for fibroids, but many women are satisfied with other treatments, or try several other treatments before hysterectomy. In most cases, the ovaries can be left in place, meaning you will not undergo surgical menopause.
Beginning Your Treatment for Fibroids
Of course, your treatment plan should be designed for your symptoms, desires for future fertility and other unique factors. If you have any questions about the treatments offered by MIRI surgeons, reach out to a patient coordinator who can answer all your questions.
Okeke, T. C., Ezenyeaku, C. C. T., & Ikeako, L. C. (2015). A Review of Treatment Options Available for Women with Uterine Fibroids. British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, 6(12), 1136.