Sunday, August 24, 2008

Treatment of uterine fibroids.

Treatment depends on various factors, including:
General health
Severity of symptoms
Type of fibroids
Whether you are pregnant
If you want children in the future
Some women may just need pelvic exams or ultrasounds every once in a while to monitor the fibroid's growth.
Treatment for fibroids may include:
Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) to help control heavy periods
Iron supplements to prevent anemia due to heavy periods
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naprosyn for cramps or pain with menstruation
Some women may need hormonal therapy (Depo Leuprolide injections) to shrink the fibroids. This medicine reduces the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The hormones create a situation in the body that is very similar to
menopause. Side effects can be severe and may include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and loss of bone density. Hormone treatment may last several months. Fibroids will begin to grown as soon as treatment stops. In some cases, hormone therapy is used for a short period of time before surgery or when the woman is expected to reach menopause soon.
Surgery and procedures used to treat fibroids include:
Hysteroscopic resection of fibroids: This outpatient procedure may be needed for women with fibroids growing inside the uterine cavity. In this procedure, a small camera and instruments are inserted through the cervix into the uterus to remove the fibroid tumors.
Uterine artery embolization: This procedure stops the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to die and shrink. The long-term effects of this procedure are still unknown, and the safety of pregnancy after this procedure is a concern.
Myomectomy: This surgery removes the fibroids. It is frequently the chosen treatment for women who want to have children, because it usually can preserve fertility. Another advantage of a myomectomy is that it controls pain or excessive bleeding that some women with uterine fibroids have. More fibroids can develop after myomectomy.
Hysterectomy: This invasive surgery may be an option if medicines do not work and other surgeries and procedures are not an option.

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