Uterine Fibroid Tumor Treatment

Gynecology offers a number of possible uterine fibroid treatment options. Treatment, however, is not always needed. While uterine fibroids are the most common non-cancerous tumor seen in gynecology, most fibroids (also known as uterine leiomyomas) are asymptomatic-that is, they don’t cause any symptoms.

Many women only find out they have fibroids after a routine pelvic exam reveals the neoplasms. (A neoplasm is any abnormal tissue growth.) Treatment is only considered if symptoms cause discomfort or, in rare cases, health risks. Fibroid treatment is also used if the size and location of the tumor(s) affect fertility.

Symptoms and Fertility Issues

Fibroids can cause pregnancy complications and fertility issues. Tumor growth may distort the inner wall of the uterus, making it difficult for fertilized eggs to attach to the wall. Large leiomyoma can result in miscarriages, cause premature labor, and result in bleeding that is heavier than normal during labor.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal pressure
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Menstrual cramping
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pelvic pain
  • Urination or bowel difficulties.

Watchful Waiting and an Annual Pelvic Exam

When no symptoms are present, gynecologists often recommend watchful waiting. Watchful waiting involves the careful monitoring of symptoms. Neoplastic growth rate is checked once or twice a year for signs of change. This is done during a pelvic exam. For most women, this is all the treatment that will ever be required.

Medication

Medication has a number of uses when it comes to fibroid treatment. Non-prescription analgesics often provide adequate pain management. Medications used also include estrogen-blocking drugs. Estrogen has been linked to leiomyoma growth; blocking the hormone slows abnormal growth rates, and may even shrink the neoplasm. It may be controversial, but is it right for you? Keep reading to learn more about hormone therapy.

Embolization

Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that is gaining acceptance. Small particles block blood flow to the leiomyoma, leading to growth rate reduction. Get more information on uterine artery embolization.

Myomectomy

A myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids. The procedure has become less invasive as laproscopic myomectomy techniques have been developed. Women who want to treat their fibroid tumors choose this option as it allows the woman to conceive and carry a child after the treatment. Keep reading to learn more about the myomectomy procedure.

Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the complete removal of the uterus. This is major surgery, and is generally performed as a last resort. Risks associated with surgery include infection and blood loss resulting in anemia. A hysterectomy may be called for if symptoms are severe. Read on to learn more about hysterectomies.

Other Options

A number of other options exist. These include endometrial ablation, which destroys the inner lining of the uterus (and causes infertility). Ongoing research suggests that the use of heat or cold to destroy leiomyoma cells may also be effective. Keep reading to learn about new and developing treatment options.