Untreated fibroids may go away on their own if estrogen levels in the body decrease. This usually happens during menopause, but some medications, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists or antagonists, may also lower estrogen levels.
Uterine fibroids that cause problematic symptoms are usually treated with medications or surgery.
Medications used to treat uterine fibroids include:
- Iron and vitamins for women who are anemic due to heavy periods
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) for menstrual cramps
- Hormonal birth control to reduce bleeding, cramps, and pain during menstrual periods and to correct anemia
- Antifibrinolytic medicines such as tranexamic acid (Lysteda) to slow menstrual bleeding quickly
- Progesterone receptor modulators to stop heavy menstrual bleeding and cause some fibroid shrinkage
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues that cause the ovaries to temporarily stop producing estrogen and progesterone and reduce heavy menstrual bleeding
Surgery used to treat uterine fibroids include:
What Are Symptoms of Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids may not cause any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include:
What Causes Fibroids?
The cause of uterine fibroids is unknown. The female hormones estrogen and progesterone may be associated with the development of fibroids. When estrogen levels are elevated, fibroids tend to grow, and when estrogen levels are low, fibroids may shrink.
Other factors that may impact the development of uterine fibroids include:
How Are Fibroids Diagnosed?
Uterine fibroids are diagnosed with a patient history and a pelvic examination. Tests used to confirm uterine fibroids or to rule out other conditions include:
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors