In your search for treatment for your fibroids, you have probably heard that some women are able to manage their fibroid symptoms through hormonal management. When you think of receiving hormones, you may think of getting shots or taking pills every day, but there are actually long-acting forms of hormonal birth control that are effective at reducing fibroid symptoms like pelvic pain, heavy bleeding and bloating. One option that many women find helpful before considering surgical options for fibroids is Depo-Provera, the most commonly used injectable birth control.
Fibroids are extra tissue that grows in the cavity of your uterus. These masses are made from connective and muscle tissue and are sometimes called tumors even though they are almost always noncancerous. You can have one fibroid or a cluster of fibroids and their size can range from a sunflower seed to a grapefruit.
What are the Symptoms of Fibroids?
Many women first seek medical treatment because they are experiencing painful intercourse. Fibroids can also cause general pain in the pelvic area. Most commonly, women with fibroids complain of abnormal periods — periods that are much longer, heavier and more painful than a normal period.
How Does Depo-Provera Reduce Fibroid Symptoms?
Depo-Provera is a shot containing progesterone. While designed to prevent pregnancy, it has the added effect of making the lining of the uterus atrophic. This just means that it helps the tissue that lines the uterus to not be as active, reducing its size and bleeding capability.
If you’re interested in Depo-Provera for fibroids before you pursue more invasive options, talk to your doctor about your options. If you choose Depo-Provera for fibroids, you will need to go into your doctor once every 90 days to receive a shot. Most women find that by the end of the first 90-day cycle, they have received some relief from their fibroid symptoms. By the end of the first year, many women have stopped having a period altogether. Some side effects of Depo-Provera that some women experience include a weight gain of around five pounds, some thinning of their hair and occasional spotting.
Depo-Provera for Anemia
Many women living with fibroids suffer from low hemoglobin levels or anemia, leaving them constantly fatigued. Since Depo-Provera can reduce bleeding and eventually lead to no periods at all, many women see good results from using the injection to improve hemoglobin levels. OF course, because you won’t have a period and Depo-Provera is a type of birth control, you can’t get pregnant while you are receiving the shot. If you desire to get pregnant, you will want to choose another type of treatment for fibroids.