Birth Control and Fibroids: What You Need to Know

There are some myths about fibroids and the UFE procedure circulating through a number of social media platforms. With so much conflicting information, it can be difficult for women to know what is truth and what is fiction. We would like to address one question that comes up commonly: Do Birth Control Pills Cause Fibroids or Treat Them?

If You Heard That Birth Control Pills Cause Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow on or around the uterus. They can be painful and cause various symptoms: severe periods, pain in the pelvis, legs, and back, fatigue, anemia, problems urinating, and bowel movements.

However, many women do not even know that they have fibroids, since the disease is often asymptomatic in the early stages. That is why a woman should regularly have a gynecological examination. It is not known exactly what causes these tumors, but it has been proved that they are susceptible to estrogen and often develop and grow during pregnancy.

Fibroids are very sensitive to hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Therefore, it is very important that the doctor selects birth control pills according to your condition.

In fact, birth control pills can lead to the growth of fibroids if they are chosen incorrectly.

While certain types of pills can cause uterine fibroids to grow, low doses may not cause such growth. It is generally believed that most types of birth control pills at low doses do not produce enough estrogen to cause fibroids to grow.

Can The Mini Pill Shrink Fibroids?

Low-dose estrogen birth control pills and also progestin-only mini pills are safe for women with fibroids to take. Oral contraceptive pills (OCP) or hormone-releasing IUDs contain hormones and are often a first-line form of therapy in women with symptomatic fibroids.

While on the one hand, OCPs will lighten a woman’s menstrual flow which is the most common fibroid symptom, it can cause these fibroids to grow. This growth can limit or even eliminate the effectiveness of this form of therapy. Alternatively, for women with no evidence of fibroids, some studies have shown a benefit of being on low-dose OCPs as a preventive measure for the development of fibroids.

Reliable Fibroid Treatment Option

For women struggling with fibroids, they can try OCP therapy, but if it does not control the symptoms effectively enough, they need to consider Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that treats all of the fibroids and their corresponding symptoms very effectively.

Once all of the fibroids are treated with the UFE procedure, patients can resume an OCP regimen if they like. As soon as the UFE procedure is complete, the fibroids begin to soften and shrink, and can no longer respond or grow with estrogen. Women after UFE do not need to worry about the OCP affecting uterine fibroids.

To learn more about fibroids or the UFE procedure, please call the Atlanta Fibroid Center at 770-214-4600 or make an appointment with Dr. John Lipman online.

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