What Are the Treatment Options for Uterine Fibroids?
By Melissa Yurkanin, DO, Obstetrician and Gynecologist—Virtua OB/GYN – Cherry Hill
If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, rest assured that there are many treatment options that can help you feel good again and get back to living your life without pain, fear, or inconvenience.
There’s no “one-size-fits-all” uterine fibroid treatment. Your OB/GYN will consider your age, symptoms, and fertility goals to help pinpoint the best fibroid treatment options.
Uterine fibroid treatment options
Watchful waiting: If your symptoms are mild, you may choose to wait until menopause—which usually causes fibroids to shrink—and only pursue additional treatment if your symptoms worsen.
Birth control: Some low-dose birth control pills can help control symptoms like heavy bleeding without making your fibroids grow. Other birth control methods, such as progesterone injections or progesterone-releasing intrauterine devices, can also help control fibroid symptoms. Ask your OB/GYN if your birth control method effectively treats fibroids.
Medication: Some medications that 'turn off' your ovaries can cause fibroids to shrink and may relieve symptoms temporarily. Your fibroids can grow and cause symptoms again if you stop the medication.
Procedures and surgery: There’s a range of procedures and surgical options for treating fibroids that are dependent on your age, your desire to get pregnant, and the number, size, and location of the fibroids. These include:
- Sonata treatment: Sonata is a new, safe, and effective uterine fibroid treatment offered by specially trained Virtua OB/GYNs that uses the combined technologies of ultrasound and radiofrequency energy to locate, target, and destroy uterine fibroids from within the uterus. There are no incisions — the procedure is performed transcervically, meaning the device goes through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. With this approach, the uterus stays intact, helping women avoid hysterectomy.
- Uterine artery embolization: An interventional radiologist performs uterine artery embolization. The doctor threads a thin tube through a blood vessel to the fibroid. Small particles are injected to block blood flow, causing the fibroid to shrink.
- Myomectomy (surgery to remove fibroids): Myomectomy is a surgery used to remove fibroids. Depending on the location and size of the fibroids, this surgery can be performed vaginally, laparoscopically (through small incisions), robotically, or through an abdominal incision.
- Hysterectomy: Hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, ends fibroid symptoms and guarantees they won’t return. Most hysterectomies are performed using minimally invasive or robotic surgical techniques.
If uterine fibroids are causing you pain and interfering with how you live your life, treatment can help.
- Patient story: How Finding Fibroid Pain Relief Helped Tara Cross the Finish Line
- OB/GYN care at Virtua Health
- Schedule an appointment online with a Virtua OB/GYN, or call 844-896-6367.
Updated April 19, 2022