How to Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain

Three Parts:Treating the Pain with MedicationUsing Techniques and Lifestyle Changes to Control Your PainConsidering a Medical Procedure

Uterine fibroids are common, non-cancerous, growths that frequently occur during a woman's reproductive years. For some women, the pain from fibroids can be extreme. As a result of fibroids, the uterus, which is normally the size of a small pear, may grow to the size of a large watermelon. The enlarged uterus puts excess pressure on the bowel, bladder, abdomen, or back, resulting in pain.

Part 1
Treating the Pain with Medication

  1. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 1
    Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen are mild pain medications that are available without a prescription. These agents are often recommended by healthcare providers to help with pain associated with menstrual discomfort and uterine fibroids.[1]
    • Use caution not to exceed the recommended dosage and watch for side effects mentioned in the product literature.
    • If you experience difficult and painful periods, start the acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen a few days before your period starts. This may help to further reduce some of the discomfort.[2]
  2. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 2
    Consider adding iron supplements. If your pain and discomfort is associated with heavy menstrual bleeding, you may be anemic. Your doctor can do simple blood tests to determine if your iron level is below normal. Over-the-counter iron supplements can help restore your iron level back to normal.[3]
    • Common symptoms of anemia caused by excessive blood loss include fatigue and weakness, pale skin, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, headaches, cold hands and feet, and shortness of breath and chest pain in some cases.[4]
  3. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 3
    Ask your doctor about prescription medications. Stronger pain medications and anti-inflammatory agents are available with a prescription and can help make the symptoms more manageable. In some cases, prescription medications can help to slow the growth of some types of uterine fibroids.[5]
  4. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 4
    Take low-dose birth control pills. Low-dose oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, as well as progesterone injections, have been successfully used to help with fibroid pain and may be an option for you. Low-dose birth control pills contain smaller amounts of estrogen so they do not cause the fibroids to grow, plus they help to control the menstrual flow during periods.[6]
    • Studies have shown that some women may experience a decrease in fibroid size after receiving a shot of Depo-Provera, whereas others may experience an increase in fibroid size.[7]
  5. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 5
    Consider gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists, especially if you are planning a medical procedure. Drugs classed as gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists can help to shrink fibroids. These drugs are given by injection, nasal spray, or implanted device. Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists are commonly used prior to surgery to help reduce the size of the fibroids.[8]
    • Side effects such as thinning of the bones prevent these products from being used long term. Other common side effects include hot flashes, depression, insomnia, decreased sex drive, joint pain, and the absence of monthly periods. Once the drug is stopped, the fibroids quickly grow back.

Part 2
Using Techniques and Lifestyle Changes to Control Your Pain

  1. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 6
    Understand risk factors for fibroids. There are some factors beyond your control that put you at greater risk of developing fibroids as well as some factors that you can control. Consider these factors as you begin to make adjustments to your lifestyle. Factors that may increase your risk of developing or experiencing a worsening of uterine fibroids include:[9]
    • eating a lot of red meat and few vegetables
    • drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
    • having a mother or sister who also has fibroids
    • starting your period at a young age
    • having African-American decent
  2. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 7
    Apply heat to your lower abdomen. Warmth can help to improve blood flow and help your muscles to relax. Use a heating pad or warm compress on your lower abdomen to reduce pain from uterine fibroids. Remove the heating pad about every ten minutes to allow your skin to cool down.[10] Taking a warm bath may also help with pain relief.[11]
  3. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 8
    Use relaxation techniques. Lying down and resting can relieve pressure that may be contributing to the pain. When resting on your back, place a pillow beneath your knees to help take pressure away from your lower back area.[12]
    • Other techniques include deep breathing and relaxing your muscles. Some relaxation techniques work best after learning the basics from an instructor. These include yoga, biofeedback, and visualization.[13]
  4. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 9
    Eat a healthy diet. The foods you eat can make a difference in slowing the growth of fibroids. Much of the research on diet is observational but may prove helpful in some people.[14]
    • Two commonly recommended dietary changes that may help include increasing daily servings of dairy products, and decreasing daily intake of foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help to control the pain experienced from uterine fibroids.[15]
  5. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 10
    Watch and wait. Treat the pain if it is manageable, watch for worsening, and wait. Fibroids will naturally begin to shrink after you go through menopause and your levels of estrogen decrease. Most women experience no pain from fibroids after menopause.[16]
    • Much of the time, if one fibroid is present, others are also growing. Talk to your doctor about symptoms, specific to you, that need to be closely monitored.[17]

Part 3
Considering a Medical Procedure

  1. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 11
    Talk to your doctor about the risks involved with any procedure. Pursuing a medical procedure may be the best approach to getting rid of the pain you experience from fibroids, but clearly understand the risks involved before you proceed.[18]
  2. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 12
    Ask your doctor about medical treatments as well as surgery options. Before you decide what to do, get a second, or even third, opinion from another gynecologist, surgeon, or interventional radiologist. Interventional radiologists are experts in reviewing and interpreting imaging results. They can review imaging studies already performed and provide an additional opinion on surgical and out-patient procedure options.[19]
  3. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 13
    Ask your doctor about nonsurgical uterine fibroid embolization. This procedure is performed while the patient is awake but sedated. The procedure is not a painful procedure, but there is significant pain for 24-48 hours after the procedure.[20]
    • A uterine fibroid embolization involves inserting a catheter into your femoral artery through a small incision in the thigh. Small particles are inserted into the catheter and delivered to the site of the fibroid. The goal of the procedure is to disrupt the blood supply to the fibroid causing it to shrink. This outpatient, non-invasive procedure is relatively new, has a good rate of success, but may not be appropriate for everyone.[21]
  4. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 14
    Ask your doctor about endometrial ablation. Endometrial ablation is a procedure that removes or destroys the lining of the uterus. This type of procedure is often performed as an outpatient surgery in a physician’s office. Some of the methods used to perform this procedure include using a laser, wire loops, boiling water, electric current, microwaves, or freezing. Pregnancy is not possible after this procedure.[22] While this surgery may work well for older women, there is a higher failure rate for younger women who have this procedure. The risks associated with this procedure include:[23]
    • perforation or tearing of the uterus
    • burns to the uterus or bowels
    • excess fluid in the lungs
    • blockage in the artery that leads to the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
  5. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 15
    Consider magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) guided focused ultrasound surgery. Although it is not widely available, this procedure may be a good choice if you are hoping to preserve your fertility, have many large fibroids, or excess scar tissue makes other procedures more risky.[24] This procedure is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure. The procedure uses high intensity ultrasound waves to destroy the fibroids. Real time magnetic resonance imaging is used to guide the procedure.[25]Risks of this procedure include:[26]
    • burns on your abdomen
    • tissue damage
    • pain from nerve stimulation
    • blood clots
  6. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 16
    Discuss myomectomy with your doctor if you want to preserve your fertility. A myomectomy is a surgical procedure that removes fibroids without removing other healthy tissue of the uterus. Pregnancy is possible after this surgical procedure. The level of surgical intervention depends on the severity of the fibroid condition.[27] Risks associated with having a myomectomy include:[28]
    • losing large amounts of blood
    • developing scar tissue
    • an increased risk of certain complications during childbirth (if you become pregnant after the procedure)
    • the need for an emergency hysterectomy
  7. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 17
    Consider having a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is the surgical intervention of removing the uterus. Removing the uterus guarantees removal of the fibroids growing inside, but pregnancy is not possible after this procedure. The level of surgical intervention, again, depends on the details of the person, the problems experienced, and the severity of the fibroid condition. Recovery from invasive hysterectomy procedures may take several weeks.[29] Be aware that there are several risks associated with hysterectomy including:[30]
    • blood clots
    • infection
    • excessive bleeding
    • adverse reactions to anesthesia
    • structural damage, such as to your urinary tract, bladder, rectum or other pelvic structures
    • earlier onset of menopause
    • death (this is rare, but it is still a risk)
  8. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 18
    Talk to your doctor about having myolysis. Myolysis is not often used to treat uterine fibroids, but it is another option that you can discuss with your doctor. This procedure targets fibroid tissue only. During the procedure, the surgeon uses a laparoscope to guide the surgery, and introduces an electrical current or extreme cold to destroy the fibroid tissue.[31] Be aware that myolysis may not be a good option if you want to preserve your fertility.[32]
  9. Image titled Get Rid of Uterine Fibroid Pain Step 19
    Ask your doctor about radiofrequency ablation and anti-hormonal drug therapy. These are newer procedures that are available but are not yet considered standards of therapy. Radiofrequency ablation uses heat applied externally to shrink the fibroids. Anti-hormonal drug therapies involves the use of drugs to provide symptom relief without the side effects seen with other drug therapies, like thinning of the bones.[33]


  • Fibroid pain may be chronic or just occasional, and may get worse during some activities such as bowel movements, physical exercise, sexual intercourse, and when you have your period.
  • See your doctor if you start running a fever for no reason, if any new symptoms develop, or if any existing symptoms get worse.
  • Uterine fibroids are most often discovered during a routine pelvic exam. An ultrasound exam, during the office visit, can provide confirmation. In some cases, further imaging studies, such as an MRI may be needed.
  • As many as 75% of women will develop fibroids at one time or another. Most of the time, there are no symptoms and very few risks associated with fibroids.
  • Take care of your fibroids before getting pregnant. Some types of fibroids, and some of the medical procedures, can prevent you from getting pregnant.
  • Abdominal pain can be caused by many different things, some of which are life threatening if left untreated. Whenever you experience pain you should see a physician for diagnosis.

Sources and Citations


Show more... (30)

Article Info

Categories: Reproductive Health