Common Medications for Fibroid Symptoms

Common Medications for Fibroid Symptoms

The symptoms of uterine fibroids can be extremely painful and frustrating. No one wants to deal with severe pelvic pain or excessive menstrual bleeding on top of the stresses of everyday life.
Though there are surgical treatments available for fibroids that may provide a more long-term solution for fibroid symptoms, there are several medications that can help give you relief.



Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow on or in the muscle wall of the uterus. They affect 20-40% of women 35 and older, although many of those women don’t show symptoms.
Those that do suffer from symptoms experience moderate to severe pelvic pain and pressure, extreme menstrual bleeding, abdominal bloating, and urinary incontinence. These symptoms can affect a woman’s quality of life and occasionally, her fertility and overall health.


There are medications that can help ease your pain and other symptoms caused by fibroids. Talk to your doctor about what will work best for you, and ask before you start taking anything new. Some of the common medications that are recommended for fibroid symptoms include:
  • Birth control hormones can reduce cramps, pain, and heavy bleeding.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy is often used by women to reduce excessive bleeding and pain during the menstrual cycle, but it has not been proven to work for fibroids symptoms in all cases.
  • Iron supplements are available over-the-counter, and are indispensable for women suffering from anemia due to heavy bleeding.
  • Intrauterine devices inject a small amount of a hormone into the uterus periodically to help with severe bleeding.
  • Receiving a progestin every three months can help with bleeding, but depending on the woman, it may either improve fibroids or could encourage their growth.
Most medications that are offered and taken for fibroid symptoms only address the symptoms. If medication is stopped, symptoms will likely return. For a more permanent solution to uterine fibroids, an additional procedure may be necessary. Some of these include a hysterectomy, myomectomy, or uterine fibroid embolization.

Learn more

If you’re interested in learning more about additional treatment options, check out our blog post, “Is It Always Necessary to Treat Fibroids?” or visit the treatment options page on our website.
This content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician regarding any medical questions or conditions.

Merit Medical Showcased Products for Lead Implantation at International Symposium on Clinical Pacing in Rome

I've just returned from the XVI International Symposium on Progress in Clinical Pacing that was held in Rome, Italy. The symposium was a big success. Merit Medical was a sponsor of this meeting dedicated to the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias where innovation and new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques are discussed.

Dr. Seth J. Worley of Lancaster, Pennsylvania was one of the Course Directors of a half-day symposium on Interventional Device Implantation that was conducted over three sessions with Dr. Buongiorni from Pisa, Italy and Dr. Torkel Steen from Oslo, Norway as co-chairs. Some of the topics discussed were:
  • "How to Cross a Subclavian Occlusion for Venous Access"
  • "Snares for LV Lead Implantation: the most powerful technique for difficult LV lead insertion that often replaces venoplasty and anchor balloons"
  • "Interventional vs. Traditional Approach to Device Implantation"

Dr. Worley is the inventor of Merit’s Worley™ LV Delivery System. This telescoping system provides the options and tools needed to overcome the challenges of complex LV lead location and to help deliver leads, even in difficult cases. Clinical evidence has shown that a telescoping support catheter system can reduce implantation times, provide easier access to the target vessel, and improve chances for successful CRT implantation.1

To learn more about Merit's products for CRT implantation, click on the links below.

Worley™ Advanced CSG

Worley™ Advanced LVI

Worley™ Vein Selector

Matt Toone
Marketing Director, EP

1 Jackson KP, Hegland DD, Frazier-Mills C, Piccini JP, Koontz JI, Atwater BD, Daubert JP, Worley SJ. Impact of using a telescoping-support catheter system for left ventricular lead placement on implant success and procedure time of cardiac resynchronization therapy. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2013 May; 36(5):553-8.

ReSolve® Biliary Locking Drainage Catheter receives 510(k) clearance!

I am pleased to announce that the ReSolve® Biliary Locking Drainage Catheter has received 510(k) clearance and is available for sale in the US.

The ReSolve Biliary Locking Drainage Catheter has been available in Europe since July of this year and has had good success.

These catheters are indicated for drainage of bile within the biliary system. Often biliary systems need to be decompressed due to bile duct stones, extrahepatic, or intrahepatic tumors, and primary sclerosing cholangitis, among other reasons. In addition bile may also need to be diverted from a bile duct leak.

Biliary system lesions do not always occur in the same location in every patient. Because of this, Merit offers catheters with two different drainage hole configurations to accommodate patient anatomy and multiple disease locations.

Correct catheter positioning is important in these procedures. The catheter features a radiopaque marker band near the proximal shaft drainage hole, and non-radiopaque depth markers the entire length of the catheter to help with fast and accurate positioning.

Additional features:
  • Atraumatic pigtail
  • Smooth transitions
  • Large drainage holes
  • Hydrophilic coating
  • Kink resistance
To learn more, check out the ReSolve® Biliary Locking Drainage Catheter product webpage.

Richard Collard
Senior Product Manager
Merit Medical Systems, Inc.

What are possible side effects of Uterine Fibroid Embolization?

What Are Possible Side Effects of Uterine Fibroid Embolization?

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a proven fibroid treatment alternative to having a hysterectomy. It isn’t a drastic surgery. This less invasive treatment can preserve your uterus and decrease painful symptoms.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recognizes UFE as a viable fibroid treatment option. However, there are still many women who suffer from fibroids that are not aware of all available fibroid treatment options.
What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that are found within the muscle tissue of the uterus. Women with fibroids may show varied symptoms. These can include a heavy menstrual cycle with severe bleeding, pelvic pain and/or pressure, loss of bladder control, and frequent trips to the bathroom.
The size of these fibroids can range from the size of a walnut to as large as a cantaloupe (or larger).  Women may have multiple fibroid tumors, making it difficult to determine which fibroid is causing symptoms. Treatment is not recommended for women without symptoms.  Instead, your doctor will follow up with you regularly and monitor any changes.
How do I know if I have uterine fibroids?
Women with fibroids often have difficulty keeping up with daily activities because of menstrual discomfort. Some are unable to maintain their way of life. While not all women have painful symptoms caused by fibroids, these tumors can cause pain that can affect you in many ways.
Determine if you are at risk for uterine fibroids here.
How does the Uterine Fibroid Embolization procedure work? 
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) begins with a small incision next to the groin area.  This small cut will give an interventional radiologist (IR) access to an artery in the upper thigh.
After this tiny cut is made, the interventional radiologist will insert a catheter (small tube) into the artery. The doctor will guide the catheter through the femoral artery to the uterine artery connected to the fibroid.
Once the catheter reaches the fibroids, he or she will inject an embolic agent (very small particles) through the catheter. This will block off the blood flow that leads directly to the fibroids. The small particles block the fibroids from receiving any more oxygen from the bloodstream. After the fibroids are deprived of blood and oxygen, they begin to shrink. The small particles will stay there permanently. The interventional radiologist will repeat the process on the opposite side of the uterus through the same initial incision.
After the interventional radiologist has completed this process on both sides, the catheter is gently removed. The interventional radiologist will place pressure on the small incision until bleeding has stopped. After holding the puncture site for a few minutes to help stop any bleeding, the IR may close the incision using a vascular closure device.
The procedure usually takes around 1 hour. After the procedure is finished, a team of nurses will help you with anything you need to feel comfortable. You will remain in the recovery area up to 23 hours, depending upon the decision of your physician.
Possible Side Effects of UFE
Around 90% of all women are satisfied with the treatment. They report an improvement in mood and quality of life. However, there are risks and complications to consider:
  • Not having a period for six months or more
  • Common, but short-term allergic reactions such as rashes
  • Increased vaginal discharge or vaginal infection
  • Possibly passing the fibroid tumor through your period
  • Early menopause
  • The effects of UFE on the ability to become pregnant and carry a fetus to term, and on the development of the fetus, have not been determined
Final thoughts
Now that you have more information, you will know what to speak with your healthcare provider about. There are side effects to be aware of, but UFE is a minimally-invasive solution for fibroids. This treatment will allow you to preserve your uterus, helping you avoid more serious complications that can happen with a full or even partial hysterectomy.
The UFE treatment can decrease heavy periods caused by fibroid tumors. It can and may decrease urinary dysfunction and pelvic pain. This treatment has very little blood loss and is considered an outpatient procedure. Patients usually stay up to 23 hours after the procedure is complete. With this more comfortable treatment, you will be able to return to work, school, and regular activities quickly and confidently.
Uterine fibroid embolization is a viable minimally-invasive fibroid treatment option for some women with uterine fibroids. It is covered by most insurance companies. for more information about uterine fibroids and about UFE.

This content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician regarding any medical questions or conditions.

What Could Be Causing My Period Pain?

What Could Be Causing My Period Pain?

Painful periods affect many women. For some, it’s merely annoying; for others, it can be so bad that getting out of bed seems impossible.
The term for severe pain during menstruation is dysmenorrhea. It is marked by different types of pain in the abdomen and lower back. In most cases, the pain is normal and is not related to a specific problem with the reproductive organs. But sometimes there is an underlying disorder that could be causing the pain. This is a condition known as secondary dysmenorrhea.
So just what exactly is going on when the pain from your period starts to settle in? And what should you do about it?
Prevalence of Dysmenorrhea
If you’re hurting from your periods, you’re not alone. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), dysmenorrhea is the most reported menstrual disorder. More than 50% of all women who menstruate suffer from pain 1-2 days each month.
Many women with dysmenorrhea begin to suffer from period pain early in life. Often it begins soon after they start having menstrual periods. In most cases, the pain will get less severe as they get older or after they give birth.
On the other hand, secondary dysmenorrhea sets in later in life as women get further into adulthood. The pain will usually get worse, not better, over time.
What Causes the Pain?
Period pain usually occurs because the uterus is shedding its lining. It does this in preparation for the next menstrual cycle. To shed its lining, the muscular wall of the uterus will contract. This will block off blood vessels, causing pain. At the same time, the body will release prostaglandins, hormone-like compounds that cause the uterus to further contract, leading to even more pain.
There could be other causes of the pain, however. Sometimes the pain is so severe that you are missing school, work, or other types of regular activity. If this is the case, or if it persists when you aren’t on your period, get in touch with your healthcare provider to get a diagnosis. You might be suffering from secondary dysmenorrhea.
Possible Causes of Secondary Dysmenorrhea
There are a few possible causes for secondary dysmenorrhea:
  • Fibroids. Uterine fibroids are fairly common, especially for African American women. They are non-cancerous tumors that grow on or within the muscle tissue of the uterus. Symptoms of fibroids include heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and pressure, frequent trips to the bathroom, and loss of bladder control.
  • Endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of your uterus grows outside your uterus. The tissue bleeds monthly just like your period. The tissue could be in your ovaries, fallopian tubes, behind the uterus, or on the bladder.
  • Adenomyosis. This is when tissue that normally lines the walls of the uterus begins to grow in the muscle in the wall of the uterus.
Treatment Options
There are a few treatment options available if you suffer from painful periods.
Mild pain can be relieved by placing a heating pad on your abdomen or taking a hot shower. It also helps to get plenty of rest, to massage the affected area, and to avoid salty and caffeinated foods.
If the pain is enough to prevent you from doing everyday activities, start by talking to a healthcare provider. He or she may start by asking you to take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. These should be taken at the first sign of menstrual pain and should not be used for more than two days. Your healthcare provider may also recommend using birth control pills if the drugs aren’t working.
Your healthcare provider may also want to run some tests or do a procedure to figure out what’s going on. He or she may perform a pelvic exam or an ultrasound exam. In some cases, a laparoscopy may be necessary. This is a surgery that lets your healthcare provider look inside the pelvic region.
Once your doctor finds the cause of the period pain, there are a few treatment options. If endometriosis or adenomyosis is causing the pain, there are some hormonal treatments, such as birth control pills, that can help to relieve the pain.
If fibroids are causing your period pain, there is a treatment called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). This focuses on cutting off the blood flow to the fibroids. It is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure.
If other treatment options don’t work and you’re still in pain, then surgery may be needed. A hysterectomy can be performed, usually as a last resort. This will result in the removal of your uterus and will lead to infertility.
Finding more information
Our website goes into more depth on how to know if you have uterine fibroids. If you are interested in finding a physician who can perform the UFE procedure, we have a tool that can help you find one in your area. Simply enter your zip code to get a list of physicians who perform UFE in your area.
This content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician regarding any medical questions or conditions.