Unless a woman experiences severe symptoms, she usually will not need treatment for fibroids after going through menopause.
Fibroids tend to shrink or go away after menopause, but it is still important to check in with a doctor regularly.
If fibroids are causing symptoms doctors may recommend a variety of medications. These medications include:
- Pain medications: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help relieve symptoms and pain associated with fibroids.
- Iron supplementation: women with heavy menstrual periods may benefit from taking iron supplements, especially while menstruating. Iron supplementation may help to prevent anemia caused by excess blood loss.
- Birth control pills: low-dose birth control pills and contraceptives may help to prevent heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa): Lupron is the most common drug in this class. GnRHa drugs help to shrink fibroids and make them easier to remove if surgery is necessary. Lupron is usually only prescribed for less than 6 months.
- Surgery: Surgery is usually one of the last treatment options for women with fibroids. A hysterectomy is a surgery that involves removing a woman’s uterus. If a woman is going through menopause or is close to menopause, a surgeon may also remove her ovaries. A hysterectomy will end the symptoms of uterine fibroids, which makes surgery a good option for women with severe symptoms.
In most cases, fibroids shrink to a smaller size and no longer cause symptoms after menopause. Women undergoing hormone therapy or women who still have high levels of estrogen may not experience a decrease in the size of their fibroids.
These fibroids can be treated using a variety of the methods listed above, but the treatment will depend on the size of the fibroids and the severity of the woman’s symptoms.
Some women do not experience symptoms and may not even know that they have fibroids unless they are discovered by a gynecologist during a routine visit. Other women have very severe symptoms which may leave them unable to work or carry out other daily activities.
Although fibroids aren’t cancerous, they may still cause discomfort and other problems if left untreated. If you have unnatural vaginal bleeding or other symptoms of fibroids after menopause, see a healthcare professional. It is important to evaluate vaginal bleeding after menopause to make sure there is not a more serious underlying cause. A doctor will officially diagnose a fibroid and offer appropriate treatment options based on your symptoms.