Fibroids

Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths in the uterus (womb). They are a common cause of infertility, miscarriage and pre-term labour. Fibroids are very common. At least 1 in 4 women develop one or more fibroids in their lifetime. They usually develop in women aged 30-50 years and can sometimes run in families. This is thought to be due to the higher levels of oestrogen that occur in heavier women.

Symptoms may include

Treatment

Observation

If your fibroids are not causing any symptoms then treatment is not usually needed. After the menopause, fibroids often shrink and symptoms tend to go or ease.

Treatment with medication

Medication can be used to improve symptoms or to shrink the fibroids. Normally fibroids more than 3cms in size cause symptoms and need treatment.

Medication to improve symptoms
The following medicines are used to treat heavy periods whatever the cause, including heavy periods caused by fibroids. They may not work so well if your fibroids are large.

  • Tranexamic acid- reduces bleeding during the period.
  • The contraceptive pill may help you to have lighter periods and can often help with period pain too.

Medication to shrink the fibroids
Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue, this is a hormone medicine that reduces the level of estrogen in your body. Fibroids shrink when the level of estrogen falls. This treatment is given for a maximum three to six months.

Surgery

For patients with fibroids larger than 3cms Laparoscopic Myomectomy is the best way forward. Hysterectomy is commonest treatment for large fibroids which cause symptoms.
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