As there are several treatment options for fibroids, it’s hard to pick out the best course of action.
There are plenty of women with uterine fibroids that don’t come across any signs or symptoms, or experience moderately irritating but bearable signs and symptoms. Treatment for fibroids may vary between no treatment whatsoever to surgery. Unless fibroids are causing excessive bleeding, discomfort, or bladder issues, treatment for the most part isn’t necessary.
The good news is that not all fibroids expand. Even those bigger in size may not lead to any symptoms, and most become smaller after menopause.
You should still keep track of its size if you happen to face any pain or bleeding. Try to make a habit of receiving pelvic exams every year just to be safe.
Although you can’t get rid of fibroids on your own, there are still things to help with the pain or discomfort you may be feeling. Once fibroids develop on the outside of the uterus, you may notice a lump on your tummy. You can lie down and place a hot pack or water bottle on your lower midsection to alleviate the pain. You’d have to be consistent with it numerous times a day. You can also take pain relievers, like ibuprofen.
Other options include:
To keep the fibroid from growing, your obgyn may advise that you stop taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. In other cases, however, they may prescribe birth control pills to help limit the bleeding and anemia from fibroids, even though the hormones can make fibroids grow.
GnRH is a hormone your body naturally produces. An agonist medicine counteracts that hormone, and your obstetrician may prescribe one to shrink fibroids and reduce anemia. These drugs don’t come cheap. You shouldn’t take them for more than 6 months because they can increase the likelihood of you getting osteoporosis, which weakens your bones. Your doctor may also prescribe a small dose of progestin, another hormone, to make osteoporosis less possible. When you stop taking a GnRH agonist, the likeliness of your fibroids growing back exists.
There are a few alternatives that you might want to think about.
Fibroid embolization can shrink a fibroid. Your doctor would be injecting polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) into the arteries, which ends up feeding the fibroid. The PVA cuts off the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink. It’s not surgery, but you might have to spend a couple of nights in the hospital because you could face nausea, vomiting, and pain within the first set of days afterward.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure where doctors break apart the lining of the uterus to reduce the flow of the bleeding connected to tiny fibroids.
Myomectomy is a surgery to weed out fibroids. If you plan to become pregnant, your obgyn may highly suggest this option overs. Keep in mind that scarring can happen, when the last thing you want is to end up infertile. You’d have to be patient and wait 4-6 months after surgery before you attempt to conceive. In the vast majority of women, symptoms tend to go away following a myomectomy. But in others, the fibroids return. Whether it works has to do with how many fibroids you have and whether the surgeon is able to clear them all out. A myomectomy may be abdominal surgery, or your surgeon may use a hysteroscope or laparoscope to take out the fibroids without having to make a large cut on your stomach. There is also an experimental system that uses MRI-guided ultrasound energy to find the fibroids and diminish or destroy them.
Hysterectomy is surgery that removes the uterus. Many women don’t require such drastic treatment. Note that you won’t be able to get pregnant after this operation.
As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea is able to offer assistance along with treatment to her patients who experience uterine fibroids. She always looks to ensure her patients’ comfort whenever they visit her office. For those looking for a Plantation obgyn group, feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Ghea at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011 or filling out an online request.