Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus. They are also known as leiomyomas or myomas. Fibroids can vary in size, from very small to large enough to fill the entire uterus. It is estimated that up to 80% of women will develop uterine fibroids at some point, but most are asymptomatic. While the cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, several risk factors may increase your chances of developing them, including being overweight or obese, having a family history of fibroids, and being over the age of 35. If you have any symptoms related to uterine fibroids, you need to consult with Andrew Doe MD, a Houston-based uterine fibroids specialist. Here are some common treatments for the problem.
Some different types of medication can be used to treat uterine fibroids. The most common is a class of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, which work by reducing the level of estrogen in the body. It can shrink fibroids and relieve symptoms like excessive menstrual bleeding. However, GnRH agonists can only be used for a limited time because they can cause bone loss.
Another option is to take birth control pills, which can help to shrink fibroids and relieve symptoms like pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. However, birth control pills do not work for all women, and they can have side effects like weight gain, headaches, and nausea.
Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure that destroys the lining of the uterus. You can do this with a laser, heat, or cold. Endometrial ablation is usually used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding that is not caused by fibroids. It is a less invasive alternative to a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) and is usually done as outpatient surgery.
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the uterus. It is the most common treatment for uterine fibroids, but it is also a major operation that requires a hospital stay of several days. Hysterectomies can be done through an incision in the abdomen or vaginally. They can also be done laparoscopically, a less invasive surgery that uses small incisions and a camera to guide the surgeon. One of the benefits of a laparoscopic hysterectomy is that it leaves the ovaries in place, which helps to preserve estrogen levels and reduce the risk of bone loss.
A myomectomy is a surgical procedure that removes uterine fibroids. It is usually done as outpatient surgery and can be done through an incision in the abdomen or vaginally. Just like hysterectomy, myomectomies can also be done laparoscopically. One of the benefits of a laparoscopic myomectomy is that it leaves the ovaries in place, which helps to preserve estrogen levels and reduce the risk of bone loss.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks the blood supply to uterine fibroids, causing them to shrink. It is usually done as an outpatient procedure and does not require anesthesia. UFE is a less invasive alternative to surgery and has a shorter recovery time.
In summary, there are several different treatments for uterine fibroids, including medication, endometrial ablation, hysterectomy, and myomectomy. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to uterine fibroids, it is essential to consult with a specialist to find the best treatment.