Medical treatments for fibroids include androgens, oral contraceptives, progestin-releasing intrauterine devices, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, according to the UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The treatments control menstrual bleeding, trigger new cycles, provide sufferers with symptomatic relief, and shrink fibroids.
Fibroids are muscular, noncancerous tumors that grow in multiples or as a single unit within the pelvis, explains the UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Growing as large as a grapefruit, fibroids affect 6 to 8 in 10 women over the age of 50 in the United States. In two-thirds of the women presenting with the condition, fibroids are asymptomatic. However, the other one-third experience symptoms that include heavy bleeding, frequent urination, pain during sexual intercourse, pelvic pain and miscarriages.
Preliminary research and clinical experiences indicate that genetic changes, hormones estrogen and progesterone, and substances such as insulin-like growth factor may promote the growth of fibroids, states the Mayo Clinic. However, the exact cause of fibroids is still unknown, and as of 2015, there is still no cure for the condition. Additionally, women who are black, started menstruating at an early age, have a sister or mother with fibroids, or eat a diet high in red meat are at a much higher risk of developing fibroids than other women.