The A to Z of Fibroids Treatments

The A to Z of Fibroids Treatments

When it comes to treating fibroids, you may have more options than you might think

Medically reviewed by Antoinette Marengo, M.D., FACOG

Uterine fibroids are very common and often don’t have symptoms. Some people who have fibroids don’t need treatment. But others can experience complications such as heavy uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, anemia and pregnancy complications. If your fibroids are disrupting your life, you have several treatment options to consider. 

Medications and procedures for your symptoms

Medications and procedures for your symptoms 

  • Over-the-counter pain medication can help treat the pain you might be feeling. 
  • Heavy bleeding can cause iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Taking an iron supplement can treat symptoms of anemia.
  • Hormonal birth control, including intrauterine devices (IUDs), can reduce heavy bleeding.
  • Tranexamic acid can be prescribed as a tablet and prevents heavy bleeding by stopping blood clots from breaking apart. 
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists with hormonal therapy can be used to reduce menstrual bleeding.
  • GnRH agonists with or without hormonal therapy can be taken by nasal spray or injection and reduce bleeding and shrink fibroids while you’re taking the medication. When you stop taking it, the fibroids can grow back, so it’s used more often to shrink fibroids before surgery instead of as a long-term treatment option.
  • Endometrial ablation is a type of surgery that reduces heavy bleeding by destroying the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. This is done by inserting a tool into the cervix through the vagina and using extreme cold, heated fluids, microwave energy or high-energy radio frequencies. While pregnancy is possible after this procedure, it’s not recommended as there can be risks to both you and the baby.

Procedures that don’t usually affect fertility 

In some cases, you might need surgery to remove your fibroids. A myomectomy is a type of surgery that removes the fibroids. There are three kinds of myomectomies:

  • Hysteroscopy, a surgery without cuts where your provider uses a scope (a thin, flexible tube-like tool) through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus to cut away and remove the fibroids. 
  • Laparoscopy, a surgery where your provider inserts a scope and removes the fibroids through a few small cuts in your abdomen. 
  • Laparotomy, a surgery where your provider removes the fibroids through a larger cut in your abdomen.
Procedures that may affect fertility

Procedures that may affect fertility

  • Hysterectomy is a surgery that removes the uterus. It’s the only way to cure fibroids since removing the uterus means fibroids cannot grow back. You can no longer become pregnant after this surgery. 

New minimally invasive procedures that use fewer cuts and have shorter recovery time are available to shrink fibroids. The uterus stays intact and healthy, full-term pregnancies can happen after these procedures, but not enough research has been done to fully understand how they affect fertility.

Just like with any procedure, you should discuss your goals and the risks and benefits of a treatment with your medical provider to understand your options. Sometimes, treatment options may not be covered by your health insurance. So, to avoid any surprising out-of-pocket costs, be sure to contact your health insurance provider and ask what’s covered.


This resource was created with support from the Ready, Healthy & Able program funders.

Read Next

The A to Z of Fibroids Treatments

Stay informed.

Sign up to receive regular updates when we have new content.