What Are Fibroids And What Are My Treatment Options

Put simply, fibroids are non-cancerous growths inside of the uterus. These growths typically appear during the childbearing years of a woman’s life. Commonly, uterine fibroids often cause no signs or symptoms. If this is the case, expectant management, also known as watchful waiting will take place. Fibroids rarely interfere with pregnancy, and typically grow very slowly. When reproductive hormones drop naturally after menopause, these growths even tend to shrink.

What Are Fibroids And What Are My Treatment Options

However, they can cause issues and symptoms. Medications are available to be used for fibroids. These target the hormones that regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. They also help treat uncomfortable symptoms, such as pelvic pressure and heavy bleeding. They don’t get rid of fibroids, but can help shrink them. These medications include gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, a progestin-releasing intrauterine device (commonly referred to as an IUD), oral contraceptives, or progestins, which can help control menstrual bleeding, and prevent fibroids from getting larger.

Certain minimally invasive procedures can destroy uterine fibroids without the removal of them through an actual surgery. Most of these deal indirectly with the fibroids themselves. The first being StopFlo, or endometrial ablation. This treatment is completed with a specially designed instrument that is inserted and applies energy to the lining of the uterus, obliterating it. This typically ends menstrual bleeding or greatly reduces it. If this procedure includes hysteroscopic submucosal myomectomy, fibroids can also be removed. It’s best to find a doctor that is extremely experienced with these techniques.

Another technique that deals directly with the fibroids is called uterine fibroid embolization. This treatment uses embolic agents that are injected into the artery. The technique is proving effective in shrinking fibroids and reliving the symptoms they can cause. Benefits include no incisions and faster healing times. This is another strategy that is typically paired with an endometrial ablation to avoid a full hysterectomy.

A full hysterectomy is the only proven, permanent solution to relieve and remove uterine fibroids. However, it’s a major surgery, and ends the ability to become pregnant. A newer technology recently being developed is called focused ultrasound surgery. This procedure is done while inside of an MRI scanner, which allows a doctor to visually see your anatomy. The focused, high-energy sound waves are used to target and destroy troublesome fibroids. However, since this is such a new technology, the long-term effectiveness and safety of the treatment are still being explored.

Our compassion and expertise make us the go to Phoenix Gynecology Clinic. Dr. Sweeten has a mountain of knowledge and expertise, and has even pioneered many new techniques and strategies. Please give us a call at 602.393.0661 today to book your consultation. You may also fill out the form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.