Fibroid Treatment Options

An estimated 3 out of every 4 women have fibroids, though most don’t even know they have them

Most fibroids do not cause symptoms and are not treated. When they do cause symptoms, drug therapy is often the first step in treatment. In many patients, symptoms are controlled with medical management and no other therapy is required. Fibroids often grow back after therapy is discontinued.

When drug management is not enough to manage fibroids symptoms, the next step is to try more invasive therapy.

The most common options for treating fibroids include:

Medical Treatment

Hormone therapy:

How does it work? Hormone therapies are “personal” – targetting only fibroid tissue. They work by altering estrogen and progesterone levels in the body, to slow or stop fibroid growth. Some hormone therapies do have side effects and other risks when used long-term, so they are generally used only temporarily.

  • Birth-control pills
  • Progesterone (Provera, Prometrium)
  • Mirena IUS
  • Fibristal (Ulipristal Acetate)

Non-Hormonal Therapy:

Alternatives to hormonal therapies are available, depending on severity of symptoms:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen sodium (Anaprox, Ponstan)
  • Antifibrinolytics (for bleeding), which work by preventing blood clots from breaking down too quickly (Cyclokapron)

Non-Surgical Treatment

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE):

UFE (also called Uterine Artery Embolization) is a new, non-surgical procedure where an interventional radiologist makes a
tiny incision in the groin and passes a small tube called a catheter through the artery. Tiny particles of plastic or gelatin are released to stop blood flow to the fibroid causing it to shrink and eventually die.

Surgical Management

There are three common “myoma” (fibroid) removal procedure options, which vary by level of invasiveness required to remove the fibroid:

  • Abdominal Myomectomy – An open abdominal incision, either vertical or horizontal, between the bikini line and pelvic bone)
  • Laparoscopic Myomectomy – A minimally invasive “key-hole” surgery through a very small incision near or on your bellybutton)
  • Hysteroscopic Myomectomy – A no-incision surgery whereby a resectoscope (an instrument that uses electricity or lasers to cut tissue) is inserted through your vagina.
  • Hysterectomy – The entire uterus can be removed either through the vagina (a laparoscopic surgery) or in an open surgical procedure. The operation is performed under general anaesthesia and requires 3-4 four days hospitalization and another 4-6 weeks for recovery. This is the most common method for women who have completed their childbearing years.

Appropriate treatment depends on your specific condition, as well as the severity of symptoms. Speak to your physician or contact our clinic to discuss the most appropriate option for you if you are exhibiting symptoms or require diagnosis or treatment.