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There are many different treatments for fibroids, but there is little high quality evidence available to help women make treatment choices.
Treatments may be divided into three categories:
- Treating the symptoms
- Treating the size and growth of the fibroids
- Destroying/removing the fibroids
These do not change the size or growth of fibroids.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDS] such as ibuprofen.
For heavy bleeding and/or inflammation
These only work while using the treatment:
- Hormonal contraception medication such as birth control pills, patches (Ortho Evra), vaginal rings (Nuvaring), injections (Depo-Provera), or progestin intrauterine device (IUD) such as Mirena or Skyla IUD.
- Non-hormonal medications such as tranexamic acid (Lysteda)
- Endometrial ablation [en-doh-MEE-tree-uhl uh-BLAY-shuhn]: A procedure that destroys the lining of the uterus.
These prescription medications may decrease the size of fibroids or slow the growth. If the medication is stopped, the fibroids may return or increase in size.
- Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) such as Lupron®
Removing or Destroying the Fibroids
These procedures may be a permanent treatment, though sometimes the fibroids grow back or new fibroids develop.
- Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS): Using high intensity or focused ultrasound to destroy the fibroid.
- Radiofrequency ablation: Using heat generated from radio waves to destroy the fibroid.
- Myolysis (meye-OL-uh-siss): Using focused energy to destroy the fibroid.
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), or uterine artery embolization (UAE): Destroys the blood supply to the fibroid, thereby shrinking it. Typically performed by an interventional radiologist.
- Myomectomy [meye-oh-MEK-tuh-mee]: Surgery to remove the fibroids. This option allows the possibility of a future pregnancy.
Learn more about minimally invasive treatments for fibroids here.