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Treat Your Most Troublesome Fibroids — Without a Hysterectomy

Uterine FibroidIf you have troublesome uterine fibroids and want to have children, you may think your options are limited.

Generally, women in their childbearing years develop uterine fibroids, or benign tumors of muscle and connective tissue. Unfortunately, one common treatment, a hysterectomy, involves removing the uterus.

It’s important to note that fibroids are fairly common and often don’t require treatment. But if you have fibroids causing heavy bleeding, painful intercourse or difficulty getting pregnant, there is good news. Less invasive, non-surgical treatments are available.

In figuring out the best approach, it’s important that you work with your doctor as a team to match medication and treatment options with your reproductive health needs.

Medication can reduce pain, bleeding
No medication can cure uterine fibroids. But some medications can help reduce symptoms like bleeding and pain.

They include:

  • Hormonal contraceptives, including vaginal ring, shots or birth control pills.

  • Tranexamic acid, a nonhormonal medication taken during the menstrual cycle.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.

  • Leuprolide acetate, which reduces estrogen production, placing women in temporary menopause. This is used when other medications are not an option.

  • Contraceptives make sense for a younger, sexually active woman, while an older woman unconcerned about pregnancy may prefer a shorter-course, nonhormonal treatment.

Side effects of the medications are typically mild. Some women notice weight gain, stomach aches, mood changes or breast tenderness.

Doctors avoid using hormone therapy for smokers over the age of 35 or in patients with a history of heart attack, stroke, blood clots or breast cancer.

4 surgical options besides hysterectomy