If you suffer from uterine fibroid symptoms, you may already be aware that there are not any uterine fibroid medications that can be used long-term. For the 50% of childbearing women who have fibroids, about 30% have symptoms that range from moderate to severe. The severity of the symptoms usually correlates to how many of these benign tumors there are, their size, and their location.
Today we are going to talk about uterine fibroid treatment medications, the options that are available, how they work, and what you need to know about them.
What Type Of Pain Medication Is Prescribed For Uterine Fibroids?
The benign tumors that grow in and around the uterus are also called myomas or leiomyomas. They are usually not considered dangerous; however, they can cause painful symptoms and excessive bleeding, which can lead to other, more serious issues.
Some women have no symptoms at all and would not even know they had them unless their doctor discovered them during a routine exam. Other women get severe cramps, uncomfortable pressure in their pelvic region and in their abdomen, back pain, and leg pain, and they may find that having sex is painful. These unwanted growths affect women in different ways.
Doctors can prescribe different types of prescription medication to help with heavy bleeding, but normally, the only medications they recommend for pain are over-the-counter remedies such as ibuprofen or naproxen. These would be the same types of medications you might take to relieve menstrual cramps.
What Kinds Of Uterine Fibroid Treatment Medications Are Available?
There are a few options for medications that can help manage the symptoms of fibroids. It is important to understand that none of these medications will get rid of the fibroids, but they may be effective in reducing the volume of blood you lose during your monthly cycle.
- Usually, one of the first things the doctor will try is oral birth control pills or an IUD, but they must not be high in estrogen. While we still do not have an understanding of what causes fibroids to form, we do know that estrogen causes them to grow larger. Contraceptive medications may help control bleeding, but they do not alleviate pain, pressure, or other myoma-related symptoms.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH)
- GnRH can sometimes temporarily shrink the tumors, causing the symptoms to back off. The drawback to these medications is that they have serious side effects, many of which mimic early menopause. For this reason, these medications can only be used for six months, after which the tumor growth restarts and the symptoms will return.
One of the new uterine fibroid medications in this category is called Myfembree, which can be identified by its generic name Relugolix-Estradiol-Norethindrone and is a combination of three different medications. This medication was approved by the FDA for use in treating uterine fibroid symptoms. The boxed warning on this medication is a definite “must-read” if you are considering using it (similar to all GnRH choices). According to WebMD, here are some of the known side effects:
- Hot flashes;
- Night sweats;
- Changes in the menstrual period;
- Hair thinning or loss (It also notes that it is unknown if hair will regrow after you stop taking this medication.);
- It can raise your blood pressure;
- It can cause bone loss so, you shouldn’t use it for longer than 24 months.
It tells you to contact your doctor if you notice breast lumps, mood swings or changes in your mental state, depression, anxiety (reading this list of side effects may cause anxiety!), yellowing eyes or skin, blood sugar issues, liver damage signs, loss of appetite, dark urine, and the list goes on. Yikes!
It also says that although it is rare, it can cause serious problems (or death from blood clots, heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism) and that you should get medical help if you experience rapid breathing, shortness of breath, pain in your left arm, jaw, or chest, trouble speaking, etc. These warnings should not be taken lightly.
What Works Better Than Prescription Medication For Eliminating Fibroid Symptoms?
While it is understood that every prescription medication has associated side effects, the dilemma with these is that they can only be taken temporarily, and they do not get rid of the fibroids but only help temper the symptoms in the short term. There is an old saying that goes, “If you’re up to your neck in alligators, drain the swamp.” This makes a great deal of sense; why battle each symptom one at a time when you can eliminate the source completely? The best treatment to stop pain, pressure, and excessive bleeding is to get rid of the tumors.
You Do NOT Need To Have Surgery To Eliminate Uterine Fibroids
If you remember anything from this article, please remember this: there is a non-surgical procedure that eradicates fibroids forever and is over 90% effective. This procedure isn’t done by an OB/GYN but by a specially trained interventional radiologist. Many women are never made aware that there is an alternative to surgery or uterine fibroid medication called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). It is done as an outpatient, and you leave the same day to comfortably recover for just a few days in your own home.
There is no need to try dangerous medication or suffer any longer. You can be fibroid-free with no knives, no hospitals, and a significantly reduced risk profile. Many of our patients have recounted stories of how they were told their only option was a hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus). Fortunately, they heard about UFE and set up an appointment with the best fibroid doctors at the Atlanta Fibroid Center. Now they are free from these hostage-taking tumors and no longer fighting alligators or nasty fibroid symptoms.
Make your appointment today; what have you got to lose? Not your uterus, that’s for sure!