Friday, October 24, 2014

Uterine fibroids

Table of Contents

Alternative Names

Leiomyoma; Fibromyoma; Myoma; Fibroids


Treatment

Treatment depends on various factors, including:

  • Age
  • General health
  • Severity of symptoms
  • Type of fibroids
  • Whether you are pregnant
  • If you want children in the future

Some women may just need pelvic exams or ultrasounds every once in a while to monitor the fibroid's growth.

Treatment for the symptoms of fibroids may include:

  • Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) to help control heavy periods
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs) that release the hormone progestin to help reduce heavy bleeding and pain
  • Iron supplements to prevent or treat anemia due to heavy periods
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naprosyn for cramps or pain

Hormonal therapy (gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists or Depo Leuprolide injections) may be used to help shrink the fibroids. This therapy is used only for a short period of time, either before surgery to remove a fibroid or when a woman is expected to reach menopause soon. Side effects include hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

Surgery and procedures used to treat fibroids include:

  • Hysteroscopic resection of fibroids: Women who have fibroids growing inside the uterine cavity may need this outpatient procedure. In this procedure, a small camera and instruments are inserted through the cervix into the uterus to remove the fibroid tumors.
  • Uterine artery embolization : This procedure stops the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to die and shrink. Women who may want to become pregnant in the future should discuss this procedure with their health care provider.
  • Myomectomy: This surgery removes the fibroids. It is often the chosen treatment for women who want to have children, because it usually can preserve fertility. More fibroids can develop after a myomectomy.
  • Hysterectomy : This invasive surgery may be an option if medicines do not work and other surgeries and procedures are not an option.

Support Groups

National Uterine Fibroid Foundation - www.nuff.org

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Review Date: 01/11/2011
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine (9/2/2009).

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)