Since You Asked – Weekly Q & A
Do you have a question you’ve been dying to ask, but didn’t know who to turn to? Well, now you do. The National Women’s Health Network has established a weekly Q & A column where you can ask questions on a variety of topics. Those topics include contraception, abortion, sexual health, menopause & menopause hormone therapy, osteoporosis, obesity, and some aspects of heart disease. Each week we will feature a new question. Submit your question today.
The answer to your question might have already been answered, to view past questions click here.
What we are able to provide:
- A feminist perspective on current issues in women’s health
- Evidence-based research on the risks and benefits of certain drugs and procedures
- Information on available treatment options
What we are not able to provide:
- Give medical advice
- Physician referrals
- Financial assistance in paying for health care
- Information on general health topics
Please note: Questions submitted will not be answered personally, and not all questions submitted will be answered. If your question is selected, you will be notified via email. Before you submit your question, search our website to see if you find the answer to your question. Your answer might be found in a fact sheet, newsletter article or on one of our advocacy pages. NWHN can provide you with accessible and accurate health information; however, we are not medically licensed professionals and thus cannot provide medical diagnostic or treatment advice.
Weekly Question – I am 48 years old with 5 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?
Lupron is the most frequently prescribed medication to treat women with uterine fibroids; however, evidence shows the use of Lupron comes with serious risks. Lupron reduces the amount of estrogen women produce by shutting down the pituitary gland to shrink fibroids, which can result in symptoms of early menopausal onset. 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.