Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed with fibroids, or have had them for a long time, your treatment choices could be quite confusing. Let’s consider the following:
- Are the fibroids bothering you? Fibroids tend to cause heavy bleeding, pelvic pain or pressure, frequent urination, or no symptoms at all. If your fibroids are small and not bothersome, you may be okay with doing nothing. Keep in mind that the fibroids may grow bigger and there is a tiny chance that you have a type of fibroid cancer called leiomyosarcoma. Although rare, it can be very aggressive.
- Are you trying to get pregnant? Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, they may be blocking your tubes or occupying so much space that the baby has no room to grow. Even if you do get pregnant with fibroids, they can cause excruciating pains during the pregnancy that may threaten the pregnancy or at least your sanity. Consider getting the fibroid removed to improve your chances of getting pregnant and having a successful pregnancy.
- If the main issue is bleeding and the fibroids are small (3cm or less), would you consider birth control pills or an IUD? Either one could help reduce menstrual bleeding.
- Do you want to avoid surgery? Consider uterine artery embolization. It’s a procedure that can shrink the fibroids. It’s very quick and has much shorter recovery time than surgery. However, the fibroids could grow back AND the procedure may prevent you from having kids in the future.
- Do you want surgery? The fibroids can be removed, or the entire uterus can be removed. The good news is that your ovaries stay so you will have NO HORMONAL CHANGES at all. Some women are afraid to have surgery because of this concern. The ovaries are not involved so removing them would be optional.
- Do you have severe anemia where you bleed so much and you feel tired all the time because of the fibroids? The cost to you is more than tampons because your other organ systems are suffering too. The strain on your system running on “empty” will eventually take its toll. At minimum, consider getting iron infusions to help the body rebuild iron stores. However, your levels would still be low because you’ll lose blood faster than your body can replace it.
- Do you want to hold off surgery for 3-6 months until you get things in order? There are short-term injections that could hold off your periods and maybe shrink the fibroids a bit, keeping them quiet until you are ready for any procedure. If scheduling flexibility is what you need, this may be an option.
It’s time to talk about your fibroids. Call your gyno, #askyourgyno. Your energy level CAN BE RESTORED!