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Facts About Fibroids
Is a Fibroid Actually Considered to be a Tumor?
What Are the Symptoms?
- Heavy and prolonged menstrual cycles
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary frequency and/or incontinence
- A sensation of pelvic heaviness
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce pain and cramping associated with menstrual periods.
- Oral and intrauterine contraceptive steroids help control abnormal bleeding and also help reduce pain and cramping associated with menstrual periods .
- Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are used to shrink fibroids. AIs can be used in conjunction with other treatments.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists are used to shrink fibroids. However, fibroids can recur within several months after the GnRH drugs are stopped. Sometimes these medications are used to shrink fibroids prior to surgery so that the procedure is less complicated.
- Laparotomy—Incisions are made in the abdomen, and the fibroids are removed.
- Laparoscopy —Small tools and a laparoscope are inserted through small abdominal incisions. Fibroids are surgically removed through the laparoscope or destroyed by a laser or electric current.
- Hysteroscopy —A hysteroscope is inserted through the cervix and into the uterine cavity. Fibroids inside the uterus are located through the hysteroscope and can be removed with a wire loop device or a laser.
- Endometrial ablation—The lining of the uterus is destroyed which can remove small fibriods found in the uterus.
- Uterine fibroid embolization—The blood supply to the fibroid is cut off, which causes the fibroid to shrink.
- Magnetic resonance imaging–guided ultrasound surgery—Sound waves are used to destroy the fibroid tissue.
What Is Right for You?
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://acog.org
Center for Uterine Fibroids http://fibroids.net
The College of Canadian Family Physicians http://www.cfpc.ca
Womens Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Christiansen JK. The facts about fibroids: presentation and latest management options. Postgraduate Medicine. 1993;94:129-137.
Committee on practice bulletins—gynecology. Practice bulletin no. 128: diagnosis of abnormal uterine bleeding in reproductive-aged women. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;120(1):197-206.
Fibroids: symptoms and treatment. National Women's Health Report. 1996:1815.
Hutchins FL. Uterine fibroids: diagnosis and indications for treatment. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 1995;22(4):659-665.
Uterine fibroids. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq074.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130912T1222293657. Accessed September 12, 2013.
Uterine fibroids fact sheet. US Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/uterine-fibroids.html. Updated July 16, 2012. Accessed September 12, 2013.
Uterine leiomyoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated July 11, 2013. Accessed September 12, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/12/2013