If you are suffering from uterine fibroids, there are other treatment options available beyond myomectomy. Medications, including over-the-counter pain medications, may be recommended to relieve the pain associated with fibroids, and birth control pills may be prescribed the regulate the menstrual period and relieve symptoms. In addition, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists may help decrease the size of fibroids. These treatments, which cause menstruation to stop, are often used to shrink fibroids before surgery.
Endometrial ablation is another surgical option, involving a hysteroscope and heat that destroys the uterus’s endometrial lining. While it may help patients with heavy bleeding, it will not be effective for fibroids outside the uterine lining, and women who undergo this procedure will not be able to have children.
Hysterectomy is the complete removal of the uterus, and is the only total cure for fibroids. Women who have a hysterectomy will not be able to become pregnant, and if the ovaries are removed along with the uterus, menopause will be induced.
Uterine artery embolization (UAE) is nonsurgical procedure in which the blood flow to the uterus is cut off, subsequently shrinking fibroids. The effect of UAE on future pregnancy is not completely known, though some women who have had this procedure have gone on to have successful pregnancies.
Finally, focused ultrasound surgery uses a special MRI scanner to guide the doctor to the fibroids, after which high-frequency, high-energy sound waves are used to destroy them. No incision is required, which makes this a good option for women who want to preserve their uterus, though the long-term effects of this treatment are not completely known.