Medical Treatments

What is it?

Medical treatment options exist for uterine fibroids. Here is a brief review of current medical therapies.

Birth Control Pills

Because fibroids are at least partially related to hormones like estrogen and progestin, birth control pills can be an effective means for treating uterine fibroid symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding and cramping. Unfortunately, birth control pills frequently are not enough to manage symptomatic uterine fibroids, and some women have negative side effects related to hormonal birth control. Birth controls  do not reduce fibroid growth. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) that slowly release hormones have also been shown to be effective at decreasing heavy menstrual bleeding related to fibroids.

Other Hormone Therapies

Medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists have been shown to shrink fibroids and decrease symptoms. These medications stop the body from producing estrogen and therefore induce a premature menopause-like state which can have multiple negative side effects such as hot flashes, bone density loss, and vaginal dryness. Once treatment ends, the fibroids return to their pretreatment size.

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