DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I’ve had heavy bleeding with bad cramps for almost two months and was recently diagnosed with uterine fibroids. My doctor prescribed hormone treatment, which helped with the bleeding for a couple weeks,
but when I stopped taking it due to negative side effects the bleeding started again. What are my other options for treatment? I am 31.
ANSWER: When uterine fibroids cause symptoms such as bleeding and cramping, treatment is either directed at managing the symptoms, as is the case with hormone therapy, or it is focused on shrinking or removing the fibroids themselves. Treatment choices are typically based on severity of symptoms, as well as the size and location of the fibroids.
Uterine fibroids are growths of the uterus that are not cancer. These firm masses can range from tiny and almost undetectable to large and bulky. Many women have uterine fibroids without knowing it because about 70 percent don’t have any symptoms.
When uterine fibroids do cause symptoms, those you’ve experienced — bleeding and cramping — are the most common. Uterine fibroids can also lead to increased urinary frequency, constipation and a feeling of pressure within the pelvic area.