Question

I am 48 years old with five fibroids and an enlarged uterus. I’m looking for surgery options with very little recovery time. My doctor suggested I take a 3-month shot of Lupron and then have a partial hysterectomy. I’ve heard horrible things about Lupron. Can you suggest alternative treatment options?

Answer

The National Women’s Health Network feels that there should be increased public awareness of the potential harms of Lupron so that women can make an informed decision about using the drug. Women have contacted NWHN, stating that Lupron has had adverse effects on their health and daily life. Some of the side effects listed by Everyday Health include dizziness, hot flashes, headache, joint pain, bone pain, nausea, changes in sexual desire, depression, and heart rhythm changes. In addition, the manufacturer of Lupron submitted a report to the FDA about instances of lost bone density after using Lupron; however, there has not been any follow-up research on the long-term side effects Lupron has on bone density. We urge the FDA to require the manufacturer of Lupron to conduct this missing but vital research. NWHN believes that women need comprehensive information about the safety and efficacy of Lupron so they can make an informed decision about whether to use the drug.

Fortunately, there are other options available to treat fibroids. The treatment option you choose will depend on your personal situation. The least invasive procedure used to treat fibroids is Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE). During this procedure, a small incision is made in the groin and a catheter is inserted. The catheter injects small particles next to the fibroids, which obstructs blood supply and causes them to shrink. Recovery time is about one week. Other surgical procedures include myomectomy, which removes fibroids, and hysterectomy, which removes all or part of the uterus. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine which treatment option is best for you.


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