Been blogging here for a number of months on the medical decisions I made to finally address my uterine fibroid tumor problem. I consider myself fortunate because a number of women have decided to share their choices as well. It’s now time to string some of the Forum “threads” together and assemble a post that lists fibroid treatment options.
I’ll start with some general information from the MayoClinic.com Uterine Fibroids Decision Guide. Visit the site for treatment details including what to expect, common concerns, and pros and cons. I’ll also include links to related posts on this site for each of the options.
What are the uterine fibroid tumor treatment options?
- Watchful Waiting
- Drug Therapy
- MRI-guided Focused Ultrasound Ablation (MRgFUS)
- Uterine Fibroid/Artery Embolization (UFE/UAE)
- Other Approaches
Your doctor will look for signs of rapid fibroid growth or interference with nearby structures such as your bladder or intestines.
Report to your doctor any new signs and symptoms that could signal problems, including heavy menstrual bleeding, back or pelvic pain, urinary frequency or constipation.
Medications can be used to treat the signs of uterine fibroids, such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure. They don’t eliminate fibroids but may shrink them. Side effects can make them difficult to tolerate. Because of these limitations, medical therapies are temporary solutions for fibroids.
These medications include gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and androgens. For alleviation of symptoms, oral contraceptives or progestins and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used.
What the heck is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist?
How are you feeling after your Lupron injections? Any side effects?
Anyone using birth control pills to control the bleeding from fibroids?
MRI-guided Focused Ultrasound Ablation (MRgFUS)
Unlike other fibroid treatment options, FUS is noninvasive and preserves your uterus. During the procedure, MR images are used to locate your fibroids to be treated. Then the ultrasound transducer is used to send focused sound waves (sonications) into the fibroid to heat and destroy small areas of tissue.
Uterine Fibroid/Artery Embolization (UFE/UAE)
In uterine artery embolization (UAE), a doctor uses a slender, flexible tube (catheter) to inject small particles into the uterine arteries, which supply blood to your fibroids and uterus. The goal is to block tiny vessels that lead to your fibroids, starve the fibroids and cause them to die.
Doctors may recommend myomectomy — surgical removal of the fibroids and repair of the uterus — for women with troublesome fibroids who plan to bear children or who want to keep their uterus. Women who undergo myomectomy report improvement in symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding.
How are you feeling after your Hysteroscopic Myomectomy?
How are you feeling after your Laparoscopic Myomectomy?
How are you feeling after your Abdominal Myomectomy?
How are you feeling after your Abdominal Myomectomy (part 2)?
Fibroids are the No. 1 reason for hysterectomy — surgical removal of the uterus. It’s the sixth most common surgery in the United States for women. Hysterectomy is the only permanent solution for fibroids; however, it ends your ability to become pregnant. If you choose hysterectomy, you face additional decisions about surgical approach and whether you will have your ovaries removed.
Endometrial ablation removes the lining of your uterus, either ending menstruation or reducing your menstrual flow. One of several techniques destroys the cells of the uterine lining — laser, electrical energy, or placing a balloon in your uterus and filling it with hot water. Also, your doctor might remove or shave down submucosal fibroids.
Myolysis (coagulation) uses a needle to apply electric current directly to fibroids. Myolysis can also treat fibroids by using a laser probe. A similar technique, cryomyolysis, destroys fibroids by freezing them. The goal of this laparoscopic procedure is to disrupt the blood flow of fibroids and cause them to shrink over time.
Alternative treatments show up on the Internet and in books focusing on women’s health. Dietary recommendations include eating soy protein. Another suggestion is to reduce your intake of meat and dairy products. Other recommendations include consulting a practitioner of homeopathy, practicing stress reduction techniques and taking herbal preparations. More research is necessary to determine whether any dietary practices or methods can help prevent or treat fibroids.
How are you feeling after your Endometrial Ablation?
Does anyone have a dilation (dilatation) and curettage (D&C) experience to share?
Is there a natural alternative therapy or treatment for uterine fibroids?
Can I change my diet to help with fibroids?
Did you see Oprah trying acupuncture?
I’m going to add a comment with the uterine fibroid treatment options I picked. Feel free to do the same or leave your thoughts, concerns or questions concerning treatments.