Fibroids and Heavy Bleeding


I am 54 years old and have used NFP for many years.  In the last two years I developed fibroids, causing heavy bleeding in some cycles. I have seen a Gynecologist, who last year suggested ablation, which I was scared to do. This year he said the fibroids are large now, about 6cm, which means the only way is hysterectomy. I went to another Gynecologist outside my insurance group for a second opinion, he said it is not a bad idea, and if I don’t want that I should be on birth control pills to reduce the bleeding.
I know I will not take the pill- I have never taken them in my life. I know from the hormone test I took recently that I am perimenopausal, ie it could happen soon.

My question is if I wait till menopause and as they say the fibroids will shrink, will have no more bleeding so I live a normal life–  is this a good idea? Or do I still have to consider hysterectomy, which they tell me has to be total, ie removing the uterus, ovaries and cervix. They tell me that fibroids are not cancerous, but yet they suggest the total hysterectomy.

I always wished I would age naturally, I know I will not take any hormones. I just want to see if it is a good idea to wait until menopause, will the problem be fixed once I stop bleeding?


Last Updated: June 26, 2013
If you are in the premenopausal period and are bleeding from fibroids, there are other alternatives to hysterectomy, hormonal therapy and endometrial ablation. You cannot predict when menopause will come about, so just waiting for it to happen may not be a good option if you are bleeding excessively. I am presuming you have already had an endometrial biopsy or D & C to rule out endometrial cancer or a pre-cancerous condition.

One option is embolization of the fibroids. This is a much smaller procedure than a hysterectromy, and is done as an outpatient or possibly overnight stay in the hospital. A radiologist who is trained in this procedure puts a catheter in your femoral artery (in your groin) under sedation. He manipulates the catheter so that he can inject small beads into the arteries that are the blood supply to the fibroids. This cuts off the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink. 80% of women experience substantial improvement in bleeding.

Another option is using Lupron injections, which are given every one to three months, for a six month period. This drug will stop your pituitary gland from stimulating your ovaries, and you will go into an artificial menopause. After one month, most women have no bleeding whatsoever during the six month duration of the Lupron therapy. The fibroids should shrink considerably while you are on the Lupron due to lack of estrogen from the ovaries. After the six months of Lupron, the fibroids might slowly grow back, but there is a good possibility that at your age the menopause may be permanent.

If the Lupron or embolization fail to provide permanent relief, you can always get a hysterectomy at a later time. A hysterectomy is the only 100% cure for excessive uterine bleeding or fibroids.

Dr. Mary Davenport

Answered By:

Mary Davenport, MD, MS
Mary Davenport, MD, FACOG, an obstetrician/gynecologist from the Oakland Region of California, offers telehealth services over She graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed her residency at UC San Diego. Dr. Davenport is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and serves on the Advisory Board of the California Association of Natural Family Planning.

Read more related questions

Progesterone vs. 17-hydroxyprogesterone

Dear Doctor, Is there a difference in labs testing for progesterone vs. 17-hydroxyprogesterone? Can you explain why would test for one, as opposed to the…

Charting after Uterine Ablation

Can a client still chart after an uterine ablation for excessive bleeding? She is pre -menopause and would like to be able to chart but…

Is Endometrial Ablation Moral Option for Heavy Bleeding?

I have very heavy menstrual bleeding and its very unpleasant, embarrassing. This condition affects how I feel, the clothing I wear, and where and when…

Estradiol and Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy in Menopause

Dear Doctor, I would like to know your thoughts regarding taking estradiol vaginal inserts or cream, prescribed by my doctor for menopausal symptoms of dryness,…

Moods Affecting My Marriage and Children

I am having problems with my hormones (I think). I am 35 years old, married with three children, 5′ 3″ and 200 lbs. My eldest…

Symptoms Suggest Evaluating for PCOS and Prolactinoma

I am currently living in the Middle East as my husband is studying here – so I could use some help from an English speaking…

Painful Periods, PMS, and Progesterone

I am currently on Prometrium and have been for about a year (give or take). It has been incredible in helping with my physical symptoms.…

Clomid and PCOS

I saw some information on your website but none directly relating to the question I have and was hoping you may be kind enough to…

Increasingly Bad PMS

I have had increasingly bad premenstrual symptoms over the last year. It started with very bad headaches about a week before my periods, which don’t…

Is Birth Control Pill Best or Only Treatment for Teen with Painful Periods

My friend has a daughter age 15 who was considering putting her on birth control because of extreme pain/cramps during her cycle. I told her…

Is Birth Control Pill Only Way to Treat Cysts?

My husband and I have been practicing Natural Family Planning now for about 19 months. We started after the birth of our fourth child. We…

PCOS Questions

Can someone with PCOS get pregnant the natural way or is it asking the impossible? I have been married for 18 years and still have…

Create An Account

This is not a membership, this is an account for our CANFP website. If you decide you would like to sign up for one of our memberships later, you can do so with or without this account.

First Name *
Last Name *
E-mail *
Username *
Password *
Confirm Password *
Edit Profile
Order History
Shipping and Billing
Login Information
Notification Settings
Notification Subscriptions

CANFP conducts varied outreach programs to the community at large, in addition to serving our members (NFP users, teachers, and advocates).

CANFP provides education programs tailored to the audience, not only on Natural Family Planning, but on the wide variety of topics related to it.

Programs can be continuing education for NFP Professionals, introductory information for a lay audience of youth or adults new to the topic, or specifically tailored to the interests of a professional audience, such as educators, physicians, or clergy. Content is faith based or secular, whichever is suitable for situation.

CANFP offers a variety of resources for those just discovering Natural Family Planning, as well as to meet the varied needs of our CANFP Members. Most resources are available to any visitors to our site. Some resources do ask you to register as a site user in order to access them, others are available only to CANFP Members.

CANFP statewide conferences, regional events offered in collaboration with local partners, events featuring CANFP speakers, or exhbit, as well as other events throughout the state of interest to our NFP community.  Come meet one of our experts at one of these events or book a speaker for your own upcoming event.

CANFP depends on the gifts, talents, and generosity of our members and supporters. The success of our mission depends on the collaboration of our members. Please consider contributing your time treasure and talent through CANFP to share the good news of NFP with the world! Both volunteer and contracted positions available.

Stay informed by joining our email list

* indicates required
Which role(s) best describes you?