Medications for Fibroids
For some women, discomfort and bleeding are their primary symptoms. These symptoms can be managed with anti-inflammatory medications taken during their menstrual cycle to reduce flow and pain. Some of these medicines don’t require a prescription (ibuprofen, naproxyn), while others do.
Several different hormone therapies are either currently used to treat uterine fibroids or are being studied for the treatment of fibroids. Most of these drug therapies either reduce the production of estrogen or block its effects. These effects lead to a reduction in the size of the fibroid and can reduce symptoms.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills may be used to regulate your menstrual cycle for more predictable periods. Some women can't take birth control pills because of other medical conditions or their age or if they smoke.
Pros: Regulates the cycle and possibly reduces bleeding between periods.
Cons: These hormones may actually cause the fibroids to enlarge or cause other side effects. These medications do not typically make the fibroids shrink.
Progesterone medications have been used to “reset” the uterus and to transiently stop the bleeding or cause bleeding to decrease. One way to deliver progesterone to the uterus and fibroids is a progesterone-releasing intrauterine device which can be placed in the uterus during an office visit.
Pros: Can have a dramatic effect on the bleeding.
Cons: The medication may not affect bleeding at all. Typically, it does nothing to shrink fibroids, and it can have side effects.
This medication decreases estrogen levels and creates an artificial menopause, stopping periods and shrinking fibroids.
Lupron is often used to reduce the size of the fibroid before surgery or focused ultrasound therapy. It's also used as a "bridge" to menopause and is prescribed for 3-6 months and then stopped.