Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths or tumors appear in a woman's uterus. As many as 1 in 5 women may have a fibroma during childbearing years, and approximately half of all women have fibroids by age 50. Possible symptoms include heavy uterine bleeding, pelvic pressure, frequent urination, constipation, painful periods and sexual intercourse, infertility, and pregnancy complications. Because uterine fibroids rarely become malignant and many women experience no symptoms, fibroid treatment may not be required immediately or at all.
Non-surgical fibroid treatment
Non-surgical fibroid treatment options include:
- Medicine to reduce the size of the tumor and to control heavy bleeding.
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), also known as uterine artery embolization (UAE), in which a catheter is used to deliver agents to the tumor that block off the blood vessels feeding the uterine fibroid, causing it to shrink.
- Focused ultrasound treatment, which uses high-energy ultrasound waves to destroy the fibroid.
Surgical fibroid treatment
Surgical fibroid treatment options include the following:
- Hysterectomy, involving the removal of the entire uterus, is a common fibroid treatment because it prevents the risk of recurrence.
- Myomectomy, in which the fibroid tumor is surgically removed. This fibroid treatment may be performed abdominally through an incision, or through minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopy or robotic surgery. Another minimally invasive surgical fibroid treatment option is hysteroscopic myomectomy, in which the fibroid is removed through the vagina and does not require any abdominal incisions.
Fibroid treatment at BWH
The Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) provides diagnosis and treatment for the full spectrum of medical conditions affecting reproduction. As one of the premier infertility and reproductive medicine programs in the country, the Center provides women seeking fibroid treatment with access to the latest therapies and technologies, as well as a renowned team of physicians and surgeons who are leading experts in reproductive endocrinology and fertility services. The Center has also been a leader in research to improve reproductive health and maximize the chance of a successful pregnancy while decreasing the risks of multiple babies in the same pregnancy.
In addition to fibroid treatment, patients may consult with physicians at the Center about endometriosis symptoms and endometriosis treatment, ovarian fibroma, uterine polyps, and other medical conditions related to infertility, reproductive disorders and genetic conditions.
Learn more about Fibroid Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.