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Ultrasound has confirmed fibroids - next steps?

(10 Posts)
doglover Tue 18-Sep-12 16:58:12

I've just had external and internal uterine scans and they've confirmed that I've got fibroids. This isn't a particular surprise - my mum and sister have both had hysterectomies as a result of extremely heavy bleeding caused by fibroids. I'm seeing my GP next week to discuss next steps but just wondered if any of you could offer any words of advice that I can be mulling over before I see her. TIA.

doglover Tue 18-Sep-12 18:52:05

Bump for evening crowd

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 18:57:13

Don't let them talk you into having major surgery without discussing the other options. There's medication which shrinks them (it's expensive though, and they do grow back), there's also a procedure called embolisation, where they block off the blood supply to the fibroids (can cause early menopause though), depending upon where they are, they can operate to remove them (they can grow back). If you've yet to complete your family, don't let them talk you into anything without doing research first. The first thing my gynae said was that I'd need a hysterectomy (my sister has them, she was told exactly the same thing despite TTC at the time!), it was only when I had to ask about the other options. Depending upon their size, there's also the coil and the progesterone only pill.

doglover Tue 18-Sep-12 19:10:39

That's really helpful, LSC. As DH and I are 48, our family is complete but I will certainly consider all options carefully. Many thanks.

SquashedSquirrel Tue 18-Sep-12 19:19:39

I had embolisation treatment in 2011 and then had a hysterectomy this year.

The first 3 Dr' I saw at the Hospital all put enormous pressure on me to have Mirena claiming that would 'sort out the problem'. None of then had even bothered to look at my scan results and to cut a very long story short, I complained and 1 of them was dismissed (my complaint was one of many).

I then said that I wanted to see the Consultant (boss) and he was fantastic. He said I couldn't have a hysterectomy as a first option as I was too young and he suggested embolisation. It's another v long tale (detailed in a thread on here somewhere) but it didn't work and caused a major and v rare complication. That said, I wouldn't ever dissuade anyone from considering it. As Lady said, the procedure is supposed to shrink the fibroids but there is always a chance they will come back.

I must admit, I wish I had had a hysterectomy earlier - it was simple and very effective ie I didn't have any issues.

I can only suggest that you get as much info as possible and see more than one Consultant if you can. Take your time to make a decision. There are forums on-line as well which I found helpful.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 19:27:56

I'm 35. I was shocked that a hysterectomy was the first thing he recommended. There's 2 very large fibroids, and a small number of small ones. It's a shame I was told not to worry about them when they first found them, 4 years ago. I was told by my GP that they do stop growing after the menopause, I'm not sure whether this is true or not.

doglover Tue 18-Sep-12 20:06:27

Lots to think about. I wish I'd asked about the fibroids in more detail today ie location, number, size etc. At the moment - admittedly with very little info - I'm leaning towards the hysterecomy option simply because my mum and sister had various other procedures first (limited success) and both ended up having the 'full' op. Obviously, my situation may be different ............... will have to see ..........................

Footle Wed 19-Sep-12 15:16:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lottiebean Sun 23-Sep-12 17:00:27

Fibroids usually shrink when you reach the menopause as Footie says - your body stops producing oestrogen (or its very much reduced). Excess oestrogen apparently feeds fibroid growth (well its one of the key factors).

Doglover - you don't say (at least on this thread) if your fibroids are actually giving you any symptoms? Clearly they did for your family however if you aren't suffering then there is no need to take any action surely? In most cases fibroids don't actually cause a problem - its only when they do that you need to consider a course of action. Hysterectomy is usually last resort.

Fibroids can cause very heavy bleeding and prolonged periods (as I think you know) and I suffer dreadfully from this. However I have managed to control the worst aspects via tranexamic acid and mefanamic acid which are two drugs you can take prescribed by doctor. I am also using natural progesterone cream and I saw a medical herbalist - since I took the herbal medicine and NPC I have reduced my drug intake by half and for the half the time. I have also taken 2 x solgar full spectrum omega, cut out alcohol to a minimum (ouch) and cut caffeine. Plus changed my diet. It all has had a good effect. My belief is that hysterectomy is a cure but can have its own problems and is not without risk (as for any surgery). I would rather question why I got the fibroids in the first place (I realise some people are more susceptible/genetic) and there is a lot you can do to help shrink them or reduce the problems associated with them. As I am 42 and my mother had an early menopause at 47, it doesn't seem worth having a hysterectomy now for me personally as the fibroids will shrink soon. But each to their own - I appreciate people with extremely severe problems may not be able to bear waiting it out and undergoing the research and changes that I have had to make.

doglover Tue 25-Sep-12 20:22:34

Thanks for your responses. Having seen my GP today, she has referred me to a gyn consultant. Watch this space!

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