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Uterine Fibroids Health Center

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Uterine Fibroids - Topic Overview

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If your fibroids are not bothering you, you do not need to do anything about them. Your doctor will check them during your regular visits to see if they have gotten bigger.

If your main symptoms are pain and heavy bleeding, try an over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen, and ask your doctor about birth control pills. These can help you feel better and make your periods lighter. If you have anemia, take iron pills and eat foods that are high in iron, like meats, beans, and leafy green vegetables.

If your symptoms bother you a lot, you may want to think about surgery. Most of the time fibroids grow slowly, so you can take time to consider your choices.

There are two main types of surgery for fibroids. Which is better for you depends on your age, how big your fibroids are, where they are, and whether you want to have children.

  • Surgery to take out the fibroids is called myomectomy. Your doctor may suggest it if you hope to get pregnant or just want to keep your uterus. It may improve your chances of having a baby. But it does not always work, and fibroids may grow back.
  • Surgery to take out your uterus is called hysterectomy. This is the most common surgery for fibroids. And it is the only way to make sure that fibroids will not come back. Your symptoms will go away, but you will not be able to get pregnant.

It is normal to have mixed feelings about hysterectomy. Some women are sad to lose part of what makes them a woman. Other women just want their symptoms to go away. If you are thinking about hysterectomy, learn all you can about it. This will help you make the choice that is right for you.

There are a number of other ways to treat fibroids. One treatment is called uterine fibroid embolization. It can shrink fibroids. It may be a choice if you do not plan to have children but want to keep your uterus. It is not a surgery, so most women feel better soon. But fibroids may grow back.

If you are near menopause, you might try medicines to treat your symptoms. Heavy periods will stop after menopause.

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