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Fibroid Treatments

Uterine fibroids are also known as leiomyomata, myomas or uterine polyps. Uterine fibroids grow within the muscles of the uterus, on the outside of the uterus, hang in the uterine cavity or very rarely form within the cervix.

If you need treatment for fibroids, there are many options available to you. Your choices should be guided by the medical problems the fibroids are causing, your desire to have children, and your feelings and thoughts about your body, surgery or about other options. I think it is important for you to know all the options available. Even if some treatments do not apply at the current time, your condition or symptoms may change.

Hethir Rodriguez, C.H., C.M.T. Founder & President said, "In the medical world, the only "successful" treatment for uterine fibroids is removal. I say successful lightly, especially in the case of removal of the uterine fibroids alone, as new ones can develop post-surgery and any remaining parts of older fibroids can begin to grow back."

Treatment Options

  • Myomectomy

  • Myomectomy is an operation in which fibroids are removed from within the uterus. Stitches are used to bring the walls of the uterus back together. For women with symptomatic fibroids who desire future childbearing, myomectomy is the best treatment option, wrote University California San Francisco, UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health.

    UCSF believes Myomectomy is a very effective treatment, but fibroids can re-grow. The younger a woman is and the more fibroids present at the time of myomectomy, the more likely she is to develop fibroids in the future. Women nearing menopause are the least likely to have problems from fibroids again. A myomectomy can be performed several different ways. Depending on the size, number and location of your fibroids, you may be eligible for an abdominal myomectomy, a laparoscopic myomectomy or a hysteroscopic myomectomy.

  • Hysterectomy

  • Hysterectomy is the only sure way to cure uterine fibroids completely. Health care providers usually recommend this option if your fibroids are large, you have very heavy bleeding, and you are near or past menopause.

    If you have not gone through menopause and are considering a hysterectomy for your fibroids, talk to your health care provider about keeping your ovaries. The ovaries make hormones that help maintain bone density and sexual health even if the uterus is removed. If your body can continue to make these hormones on its own, you might not need hormone replacement after the hysterectomy.

    Having a hysterectomy means that you will no longer be able to get pregnant. Talk to your partner or spouse before deciding to have a hysterectomy. This process cannot be reversed, so be certain about your choice before having the surgery.

  • Watchful Waiting

  • Dr. William H. Parker is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Based on this study, women with fibroids that cause only mild or moderate problems “watchful waiting” may enable surgery to be postponed or entirely avoided. Women who are close to menopause might choose "watchful waiting" because there is less time to develop new symptoms and after menopause bleeding will stop and fibroids shrink about 50%.

    The cause of the growth of fibroids is not well understood, and the rate of growth is unpredictable. Most fibroids never grow; others grow gradually over the course of many years; and some seem to go through growth spurts and then may stop growing entirely. The only way to know what is happening is to have a pelvic examination on a regular basis.

  • Medication (to shrink fibroids)

    • Gonadotropin releasing hormone analogues (GnRHas)

      NHS (UK) considered to request your gynaecologist to prescribe medication called gonadotropin releasing hormone analogues (GnRHas) to help shrink your fibroids.

      GnRHas, such as goserelin acetate, are hormones that are given by injection. They work by affecting the pituitary gland which stops the ovaries producing oestrogen. The pituitary gland is a small, pea-sized gland located at the bottom of the brain. It controls a number of important hormone glands within the body.

      GnRHas stop your menstrual cycle (period), but aren't a form of contraception. They don't affect your chances of becoming pregnant after you stop using them.

      If you're prescribed GnRHas, they can help ease heavy periods and any pressure that you feel on your stomach. They also help improve symptoms of frequent urination and constipation.

      GnRHas are sometimes also used to shrink fibroids prior to surgery to remove them.

    • Ulipristal acetate

      Ulipristal acetate is a new method of treating fibroids that have moderate to severe symptoms. It’s only recommended for women over 18 years of age.

      The treatment involves taking one tablet orally (by mouth) once a day, with a course of treatment lasting up to three months. During this time you shouldn't bleed and your fibroids will shrink. After the initial course of treatment, you wait to see what your first two periods are like while not taking treatment. If they're still heavy, another three month course of ulipristal acetate may be recommended.

      The need for surgery may be avoided altogether.

      Treatment should only be started when menstruation (monthly periods) have occurred. The first course of treatment should start during the first week of menstruation. Your doctor will be able to explain how long the intervals between treatment courses should be.

      Hormonal forms of contraception, such as the progestogen-only pill, the intrauterine device, or combined oral contraceptive pill aren't recommended if you're taking ulipristal acetate. Instead, you should use a barrier method of contraception, such as condoms.

  • Noninvasive Procedrure

  • MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) is:

    Yvonne S. Butler Tobah, M.D from Mayo Clinic recommended using a noninvasive treatment option for uterine fibroids that preserves your uterus, requires no incision and is done on an outpatient basis.

    Performed while you're inside an MRI scanner equipped with a high-energy ultrasound transducer for treatment. The images give your doctor the precise location of the uterine fibroids. When the location of the fibroid is targeted, the ultrasound transducer focuses sound waves (sonications) into the fibroid to heat and destroy small areas of fibroid tissue.

    Newer technology, so researchers are learning more about the long-term safety and effectiveness. But so far data collected show that FUS for uterine fibroids is safe and effective.

Which Treatment?

As mentioned above there are a number of treatment options for fibroids. Which treatments you're offered will depend on a number of things.

It's important to let your doctor know if you're planning on having a baby in the future. This is because some of the treatments for fibroids can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Speaking to your doctor about your wish to have a baby can help them suggest the most suitable treatment options for you.

Your treatment choices will also depend on:

  • the size of your fibroids
  • how many fibroids you have
  • the location of your fibroids
  • the symptoms you're having

Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you to help you make a decision that's right for you. Your decision will be based on your doctor's expert opinion and your own personal values and preferences.

If you don't have any symptoms, or if your symptoms are mild, you may not need treatment. But if you have more severe symptoms, there's a range of treatment options that may help.

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