How do I Treat Fibroid Pain?

Karyn Maier
Karyn Maier
Karyn Maier
Karyn Maier
Birth control pills can be used to treat the heavy menstrual flow associated with fibroids.
Birth control pills can be used to treat the heavy menstrual flow associated with fibroids.

Uterine fibroids, also called myomas or fibromyomas, are outgrowths of tissue that develop from the lining of the uterus. They vary in size and location and are rarely cancerous. For that matter, it is not usually necessary to treat fibroids in most women. This doesn’t always hold true for everyone since fibroids can sometimes grow in size and cause significant discomfort. In these cases, it may become necessary to consider various strategies to treat fibroid pain.

A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth that commonly develops in the uterus.
A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth that commonly develops in the uterus.

One of the most common symptoms associated with the presence of fibroids is a heavy menstrual flow, which is often accompanied by cramps and lower backache. Menstrual periods may also extend well beyond the three to five day interval that is typical for most women. One way to reduce menstrual volume and duration is with the use of birth control pills. This option should be carefully evaluated with a physician, though, since therapy with birth control pills has been linked to an increased risk of hormone-driven cancers in some women.

Pelvic pain and cramping are common symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors.
Pelvic pain and cramping are common symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors.

Various medications are also sometimes used to manage and treat fibroid pain related to excessive and prolonged bleeding. For instance, Gn-RH agonists may be prescribed to help modify the activity of gonadotropin-releasing hormone at receptor sites. This promotes a reduction in the production of estrogen and progesterone, which causes menstruation to cease and fibroids to shrink. Another medication called danocrine, a synthetic drug with properties similar to testosterone, is also used to encourage fibroids to shrink. However, some women experience unwanted side effects, such as weight gain and excessive hair growth.

Uterine fibroids can cause bloating and constipation.
Uterine fibroids can cause bloating and constipation.

Constipation is another potential byproduct of having uterine fibroids that can lead to a feeling of pressure or bloating. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to treat fibroid pain of this nature. Increasing fluid intake and the consumption of whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables should help to rectify this problem.

Under certain circumstances, the best option to treat fibroid pain may reside in their complete destruction or removal. Several medical procedures can facilitate this goal and range in complexity and invasiveness. Focused ultrasound surgery (FUS), for example, utilizes magnetic resonance imaging to target and destroy fibroids without the need for open surgery. On the other hand, if the fibroids in question are very large or located deep within the uterus or uterine wall, an abdominal myomectomy may be necessary to manually remove them.

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treat fibroid pain and discomfort that is suitable for every woman. Therefore, it’s important to thoroughly research and discuss all available options with a qualified health care professional in order to make an informed decision. As previously mentioned, the majority of women do not require treatment of any kind.

Karyn Maier
Karyn Maier

Contributing articles to wiseGEEK is just one of Karyn’s many professional endeavors. She is also a magazine writer and columnist, mainly for health-related publications, as well as the author of four books. Karyn lives in New York’s Catskill Mountain region and specializes in topics about green living and botanical medicine.

Karyn Maier
Karyn Maier

Contributing articles to wiseGEEK is just one of Karyn’s many professional endeavors. She is also a magazine writer and columnist, mainly for health-related publications, as well as the author of four books. Karyn lives in New York’s Catskill Mountain region and specializes in topics about green living and botanical medicine.

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    • Birth control pills can be used to treat the heavy menstrual flow associated with fibroids.
      Birth control pills can be used to treat the heavy menstrual flow associated with fibroids.
    • A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth that commonly develops in the uterus.
      A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth that commonly develops in the uterus.
    • Pelvic pain and cramping are common symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors.
      Pelvic pain and cramping are common symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors.
    • Uterine fibroids can cause bloating and constipation.
      Uterine fibroids can cause bloating and constipation.