Hormone Pills and Treatment of Fibroids
- Created: November 26, 2010
- by: admin
Discover the pro’s and con’s of the hormone pills “GnRH agonists” used by some women to treat fibroids.
I heard something about how there is a type of medication that can shrink fibroids. Is this true and what are the pros cons and effects of the meds?
The medication that you may be referring to is “GnRH agonists”. These are drugs that are chemically similar to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This hormone is produced by the hypothalamus, a region in the brain. GnRH stimulates the release of other hormones from the pituitary gland, a small gland at the base of the brain. These other hormones are luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). They, in turn, stimulate the ovaries to produce estrogen. GnRH agonists , however, block that process, shutting down estrogen production, further depriving the fibroids of estrogen and causing them to shrink.
Some women may benefit from this powerful, yet controversial, drug. This medication can be given as either a monthly injection, nasal spray, or implant under the skin. Unfortunately, while this type of medication is usually successful in shrinking the fibroids, in some cases, it can produce severe side effects. Some women never develop side effects, while others report headaches, joint pain, severe hot flashes, difficulty concentrating, and other symptoms of menopause. Other less common, but possible side effects are vaginal dryness, irregular vaginal bleeding, thinning of hair, sleep problems, mood changes, and loss of sex drive.
GnRH agonist medication is usually not used for more than 3-6 months as it can cause loss of bone tissue. Unfortunately, in most cases the fibroids regrow within 4-6 months after the medication is stopped. Therefore, most doctors prescribe GnRH agonists prior to surgery so that the surgery is easier, or to women who want to shrink their fibroids prior to becoming pregnant, or to those nearing menopause, since fibroids often decrease in size after menopause.
It is always important for patients to be aware, however, about all of their options to treating fibroids. Among other treatment methods, UFE can also be a possible less invasive, quick and effective treatment method for fibroids.hormone