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Diane gave you some great information, and I wanted to add some information to your list of credible online resources while we wait for one of our medical experts. (In case you are curious about my background & training, I have a BA and MA in Health Education--basically my job is to sift through the medical literature and other health and wellness sources, to provide you with the most recent, credible and evidence-based health information available).

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), (most likely the site your doctor uses), there are many options for the treatment of fibroids, and as Diane said, it depends on many factors (size and location of fibroids, for example). Your treatment options may include medication and surgery:
1. Progestin, as it reduces heavy and painful bleeding but does not treat the fibroids themselves.
2. Birth control pills and other types of hormonal birth control methods. These drugs often are used to control heavy bleeding and painful periods.
3. Gonadotropin–releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. These drugs stop the menstrual cycle and can shrink fibroids.
4. There are many other options for fibroid treatment through surgery, other than a hysterectomy ("a Myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids while leaving the uterus in place"). You can read more about surgery options at the ACOG site, but it does not sound like this is a viable option for you at this point.
5. Myolysis (meye-OL-uh-siss) - A needle is inserted into the fibroids, usually guided by laparoscopy, and electric current or freezing is used to destroy the fibroids.
6. According to, Women's Health.Gov, some treatments that are still being developed include:
a. "MRI-guided ultrasound surgery shrinks fibroids using a high-intensity ultrasound beam. The MRI scanner helps the doctor locate the fibroid, and the ultrasound sends out very hot sound waves to destroy the fibroid. The ExAblate® 2000 System is a medical device that uses this method to destroy uterine fibroids."
b. "Some health care providers use lasers to remove a fibroid or to cut off the blood supply to the fibroid, making it shrink."

I have not been able to locate any clinical studies proving the efficacy of any complementary or alternative medicine techniques as effective treatments for fibroids.

I'm curious, though, in your original and subsequent posts. Your primary concern was long periods, and then you mention that your periods are regular (I guess you mean the week in between that you are not bleeding?).

It sounds like your fibroids may be causing your abnormal periods and bleeding (or, it could be perimenopause, as Diane mentioned), as a normal period is defined as:
* Occurs every 21 to 35 days
* Lasts four to five days
* Produces a total blood loss of about 2 to 3 tablespoons

The medical term for what you are experiencing is "menorrhagia" (can mean excessive bleeding or prolonged bleeding), and may include any or all of these:
* Produces a total blood loss of about 5 1/2 tablespoons or more
* Interferes with your life
* Causes tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath (symptoms of anemia)
* Menstrual periods lasting longer than seven days
[Source: Mayo Clinic]

Is your doctor concerned about the size or location of the fibroids? Is your lengthy periods causing discomfort or otherwise negatively effecting your life? What are the main symptoms you want treated, as you have not mentioned any pain or other problems.

If you are nearing menopause, your other option may be to wait (your doctor will know if this is an appropriate option for you), as your fibroids may not require treatment (this thought assumes that your fibroids are "caused" by estrogen, however, the actual cause of fibroids is still unclear), as the medical literature suggests that fibroids shrink as women enter menopause, most likely from the decrease in estrogen.

Does this help?

August 27, 2009 - 1:35pm


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