What to Know After a Fibroids Diagnosis
- Created: November 20, 2015
- by: Leah Johnson
Uterine fibroids, for many women, are generally harmless, will shrink during menopause, and may also not show many symptoms. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids, it’s likely because you’ve experienced some of the symptoms of fibroids such as irregular or unusually heavy menstrual bleeding, pain or pressure in your pelvic region, or urinary problems. How you treat your fibroids can depend on the severity of the diagnosis as well as your doctor’s recommendations. Sometimes, your doctor may simply recommend watching and waiting with follow-up appointments to monitor the fibroid growth, as well as any additional symptoms.
Home Treatment for Fibroids
One of the most common symptoms of fibroids is painful menstrual periods, so treating this pain provides several options. These options are generally for aiding with milder cases of fibroids. More severe symptoms could require further fibroids treatment.
Over-the-counter medicine such as Ibuprofen (a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID) could provide some relief to menstrual pain. Like with any medicine, follow dosage instructions on the package carefully and consult with a pharmacist or your doctor if you are on any prescriptions or have other medical conditions.
Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle to your lower abdomen, or take a warm bath. The heat will increase blood flow and could improve pain in the pelvic, lower back, or abdominal region. When using a heating pad, be careful to not leave it on the affected area for an extended period of time, as you could risk burns or skin damage.
Elevating your legs over your heart, such as when lying down, can help circulation and ease the pain of menstrual cramping.
Change Tampons Frequently
If you use tampons, try temporarily changing to pads to avoid further irritation during your period.
Physical activity can improve blood flow and will generally help reduce pain.
Surgical Treatment for Fibroids
Depending on the severity of your fibroids symptoms, your doctor may recommend a surgical option to remove or treat the fibroids. Depending on your age and life goals, these surgical options generally include a myomectomy (or fibroid removal), which is best recommended if you are still looking to have children. For women without plans to get pregnant in the future, a hysterectomy may also be a viable solution, which involves the surgical removal of the entire uterus. However, surgery may not be the only option, even if your doctor has made that diagnosis.
Non-Surgical Treatment: Embolization
Used since 1975, the medical procedure of artery embolization was discovered to shrink and treat fibroids without the need for invasive, costly, and risky surgery. Additionally, some patients have been able to treat their severe fibroids while also preserving their ability to get pregnant in the future through this method. However, this is a viable solution for any woman who is looking for an alternative to surgery. The procedure can generally take between 1-3 hours and after a mild period of bed rest, most patients are able to leave the hospital within the same day.
Consult with your doctor about all available options when it comes to your fibroids diagnosis and what the best next steps are. If you’re facing a surgical treatment recommendation, consult with the experts of the Fibroid Treatment Collective at www.fibroids.com to see if embolization may be a viable alternative in your case.
Ibuprofen photo by D Coetzee