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Within the safe and welcoming environment of my office, I invite my patients to ask me questions regarding their gynecologic health. I assure them no question is silly or embarrassing. This blog will serve as a resource for me to share real patient questions with my answers and insight. While my responses are based on my medical knowledge and the latest scientific literature, the information provided is not meant to replace a medical consult with your physician.

 

Dear Dr. Hanna,

I have uterine fibroids and always had heavy periods. Recently my periods have gotten worse. I soak a super tampon in 2 hours and often soil my clothing. Sometimes I am afraid to leave the house due to the vaginal bleeding. I have chosen to live with my fibroids because I do not desire surgery. Are there any options for treatment to improve my bleeding?

Sincerely,
Living with fibroids

Dear Living with fibroids,

You will be happy to know that heavy periods due to uterine fibroids can often be treated without surgery. As you already know, uterine fibroids are benign (not cancerous) growths that develop in the muscle of the uterus. Uterine fibroids can vary in size, shape and location in the uterus. They can occur at any age and many women have them without experiencing any symptoms, but a heavy period is a common complaint.

Uterine fibroids are usually first diagnosed during a routine pelvic exam. If I feel fibroids on an exam, I usually order a pelvic ultrasound to determine their exact size, location in the uterus and number. Pelvic ultrasound is a simple office procedure that is not painful. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the uterus and other surrounding pelvic organs like your ovaries and bladder.

Fibroids that do not cause a woman any symptoms do not necessarily need treatment. Not all fibroids require surgery. Since your fibroids are negatively impacting your quality of life, I would recommend you explore medication treatment options.

Medication treatment is usually aimed to reduce the amount of vaginal bleeding along with decreasing any pain you experience during your period. Options include birth control pills, progesterone/progestins, Progestin-releasing intrauterine device and a new FDA-approved drug called Oriahnn™. Oriahnn is an oral medication now available to be prescribed for patients to decrease heavy menstrual bleeding associated with their uterine fibroids. I am excited to have another option to offer my patients to avoid surgery!

Each woman is unique and deserves an individualized treatment plan. To determine which medications are best for you, I would consult with your gynecologist.


Sincerely,
Dr. Hanna

The content is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Please seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Barbra S. Hanna, DO, FACOG, NCMP
1604 North Main Street  •  Wheaton, Illinois 60187  •  630-260-1818